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Shack News
Shacknews Recent Articles http://www.shacknews.com/rss?recent_articles=1 en-us Telltale's Game of Thrones takes up arms next week http://www.shacknews.com/article/87268/telltales-game-of-thrones-takes-up-arms-next-week http://www.shacknews.com/article/87268/telltales-game-of-thrones-takes-up-arms-next-week <p>Telltale struck earlier this week with its unique take on the Borderlands franchise, but Tales From the Borderlands isn't all that on the studio's plate. There's still a Game of Thrones game coming and it now has a release date.</p> <p>Telltale <a href="https://twitter.com/telltalegames/status/538025079599144961" target="blank">tweeted</a> earlier today that the first episode of Game of Thrones would arrive next week. "Iron From Ice" will hit PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4 on Tuesday, December 2. It'll arrive on Xbox One and Xbox 360 (as well as PS4 in Europe) on Wednesday, December 3, while it'll touch down on iOS the next day.</p> <p>Game of Thrones follows the HBO series and will take place between seasons 3 and 5, putting players in the role of the noble House Forrester. If you missed the teaser for the new series last week, we'll present it to you again below.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6Q1vt9BX4Eg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 13:40:00 PST Ozzie Mejia The Witcher Adventure Game begins its quest on PC and mobile today http://www.shacknews.com/article/87267/the-witcher-adventure-game-begins-its-quest-on-pc-and-mobile-today http://www.shacknews.com/article/87267/the-witcher-adventure-game-begins-its-quest-on-pc-and-mobile-today <p>Just because it's Thanksgiving in the United States doesn't mean the rest of the world stops turning. In fact, the fine folks at CD Projekt Red are offering a handy way to ignore your family while they argue politics at the dinner table. Simply take out your mobile device, because The Witcher Adventure Game is out today.</p> <p>The Witcher Adventure Game is the board game adaptation of the beloved franchise. Four of the Witcher characters will be available to select, as they run through the world exploring, questing, using diplomacy, and fighting monsters. Players can opt to team up with friends or simply stab them in the back.</p> <p>The Witcher Adventure Game is available now on the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-witcher-ag/id735549884?l=pl&amp;ls=1&amp;mt=8" target="blank">App Store</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cdpred.witcher.abg" target="blank">Google Play</a> store for $5.99. If you'd rather play it on a bigger screen, it's also out today on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/303800/" target="blank">Steam</a> and <a href="http://www.gog.com/game/witcher_adventure_game" target="blank">GOG.com</a> for a few more bucks.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PsVs1tFs4uo?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:08:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Hyrule Warriors DLC adds human Midna and more http://www.shacknews.com/article/87266/hyrule-warriors-dlc-adds-human-midna-and-more http://www.shacknews.com/article/87266/hyrule-warriors-dlc-adds-human-midna-and-more <p>If you're out enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, Nintendo would like you to have something waiting for you when you get back. The second Hyrule Warriors DLC featuring another batch of characters is out today and filled with new additions.</p> <p>The Twilight Princess Pack features Midna in her true human form, as well as some new weapons and costumes for Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf. The DLC is going for $7.99 or as part of the $20 Season Pass. The latest update also increases the level cap to 150 and allows players to carry 999 of an item.</p> <p>There's no English language trailer at the moment, likely because... well... it's Thanksgiving. But there is no such holiday being celebrated in Japan, so here's a Japanese trailer!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/a2KP7kWR4mE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:00:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Halo: The Master Chief Collection 500MB patch addressing various issues goes live [Update] http://www.shacknews.com/article/87265/halo-the-master-chief-collection-500mb-patch-addressing-various-issues-goes-live-update http://www.shacknews.com/article/87265/halo-the-master-chief-collection-500mb-patch-addressing-various-issues-goes-live-update <p>Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, it appears that the newest update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been deployed.</p> <p>Patch notes from 343 Industries are currently unavailable, but according to the <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/halo/comments/2nj2nv/11262014_update" target="blank">Halo subreddit</a>, the patch is available now&nbsp;and coming in at about 523MB.</p> <p>Studio head Bonnie Ross previously issued an apology on the <a href="https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/a-status-update-from-bonnie-ross-on-halo-the-master-chief-collection" target="blank">Halo Waypoint</a> website earlier this week for the Master Chief Collection's continued woes. She also acknowledged serveral matchmaking issues, along with other issues regarding the campaign, UI, and other areas. Ross stated that multiple server-side tweaks would be forthcoming.</p> <p>Shacknews will update this post with the latest patch notes as soon as they become available.</p> <p><b>Update</b>: The patch notes are now live on <a href="https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/11-26-14-halo-the-master-chief-collection-content-update-notes" target="blank">Halo Waypoint</a>. They include:</p> <h3>Matchmaking</h3> <ul> <li>Made improvements to the way the matchmaking system handles player matching</li> <li>Made improvements to the team selection process to improve team balancing</li> <li>Made an update to the party system to improve searching with parties (2+ players)</li> <li>Made further improvements to how matchmaking progress is communicated to the player</li> <li>Made an update to ensure that players do not enter a non-joinable state after searching for a match</li> <li>Made an update to ensure that the &ldquo;Game Session&rdquo; UI does not persist after leaving a matchmaking lobby</li> <li>Resolved a variety of incorrectly displayed matchmaking prompts vImproved matchmaking roster presentation during team creation phase to remove roster flickering</li> <li>Corrected a &ldquo;connecting to host&rdquo; message that incorrectly displayed during the matchmaking searching phase</li> <li>Made an update to ensure that FFA players do not appear as if they are on the red team in the pre-game lobby</li> </ul> <h3>Party, Lobby, and Custom Games</h3> <ul> <li>Made an update to ensure that custom game settings persist between matches</li> <li>Made an update to ensure that player&rsquo;s player emblems load correctly when returning to lobby</li> <li>Made an update to improve nameplate and emblem display</li> <li>Improved the display of emblems in the &ldquo;Games Session Details&rdquo; screen</li> <li>Made improvements to parties to ensure that parties are merged when the host joins another player and &ldquo;brings party&rdquo;</li> <li>Made an update to improve party stability after completing a matchmaking game</li> <li>Made an update to ensure that players are joinable after playing a matchmaking game</li> </ul> <h3>Stability</h3> <ul> <li>Made a variety of updates to improve UI stability</li> <li>Resolved stability issues that occurred while viewing medals in &ldquo;Player Details&rdquo;</li> <li>Made an update to prevent stability issues caused by controller disconnects</li> <li>Made an update to improve post-game-carnage-report stability</li> <li>Made an update to address in-game stability for Halo 2</li> <li>Improved matchmaking stability while searching with parties (2+ players)</li> <li>Addressed a crash that could occur after searching in the Halo 2: Anniversary Rumble playlist</li> <li>Resolved a variety of miscellaneous stability issues to improve overall performance</li> </ul> <h3>Achievements</h3> <ul> <li>Made an update to ensure that the &ldquo;Zealot&rdquo; achievement is unlockable</li> </ul> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:15:00 PST Ozzie Mejia WWE SuperCard update adds 'Survivor' cards http://www.shacknews.com/article/87260/wwe-supercard-update-adds-survivor-cards http://www.shacknews.com/article/87260/wwe-supercard-update-adds-survivor-cards <p>Shacknews readers and listeners of the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/87205/shacknews-chattycast-21-wwe-supercard-smacktacular">Chattycast</a> may know that we have a few WWE SuperCard aficionados on the staff. So certain 'briefcase' types may be interested to hear that a new update for the wrestling card game is now available, which adds a significant number of changes.</p> <p>The new 'Survivor' rarity level is the new hotness, surpassing even the Legendary rarity. So get ready to go on the hunt for these cards, which will center around the normal roster of cards like John Cena and The Rock. New Manager Support cards and WWE 2K15-themed cards will also make their debut with this update, offering the opportunity for some new animations. There are 24 new in-ring moves to be seen now, offering some variety to watching cards do battle. The update will also include rebalanced rewards and improved drop rates, which will hopefully make the grind feel less like a chair to the skull.</p> <p>WWE SuperCard is free-to-play and available on the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wwe-supercard/id775402833?mt=8" target="blank">App Store</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.catdaddy.cat22&amp;hl=en" target="blank">Google Play</a> store.</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:00:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Kingdom Rush Origins Blends Tower Defense With Role-Playing http://www.shacknews.com/article/87249/kingdom-rush-origins-blends-tower-defense-with-role-playing http://www.shacknews.com/article/87249/kingdom-rush-origins-blends-tower-defense-with-role-playing <p>As a testament to how far mobile video games have come, Kingdom Rush launched back in 2011 as a PC browser-based game. After becoming a hit franchise with Kingdom Rush Frontiers across Steam and mobile devices, developer Ironhide Game Studio has created a prequel with Kingdom Rush Origins. The franchise is known for blending tower defense and role-playing gameplay. Game designer and co-founder of Ironhide Alvaro Azofra talks about the new game in this exclusive interview.</p> <p><strong>What were your goals heading into this sequel?</strong></p> <p>Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers have become very popular games and the community keeps asking for more content. Kingdom Rush Origins gives us the opportunity to make the franchise stronger, of course, but also build upon the world of Kingdom Rush by expanding the story and try new game play ideas and concepts that we couldn't add on the other games.</p> <p>On the other hand, the team at Ironhide has grown so much since the first Kingdom Rush. It&rsquo;s very different to start working in a small team of 3 to 8 than when you are part of a family of 18. You can do a lot more and a lot better but the developing process is quite different. It was a learning process for everyone in the team and it was a great experience.</p> <p><strong>What&rsquo;s the storyline in this mobile game world?</strong></p> <p>Kingdom Rush Origins takes place years before the events of the first Kingdom Rush game. This time you defend the ancient elven lands from an all-out attack, while fighting a greater evil and learning the story that led to the creation of the gem of power.</p> <p><strong>What impact has fan feedback had on this sequel?</strong></p> <p>Our fans are our most valued source of information and we are always looking for their feedback to improve on what they liked and either fix or drop what they didn't like. Also, we are very aware of their suggestions and try to implement them in the game while at the same time add some surprises in the mix.</p> <p><strong>Can you talk about the gaming experience and how it utilizes tablets like Nvidia Shield Tablet and smartphone functionality?</strong></p> <p>Although Kingdom Rush Origins is a 2D game, it can be pretty intensive on mobile devices and tablets. For this version we added different profiles, so more powerful devices will enjoy improved game effects while low end devices sacrifice a bit of the eye candy in favor of smoother game play. Users of the Nvidia Shield Tablet should have a top performance and enjoy the game in all its beauty and glory.</p> <p><strong>What does your game brings new to the franchise?</strong></p> <p>We are improving every aspect of the game, from the art to the game mechanics. Although we prefer not to change the core game play, we greatly improved the stage specials, tower abilities, enemy powers, heroes and in-game upgrades. The highlight here is that every hero unlocks a unique third player spell, and that really changes the approach on how you play each stage.</p> <p><strong>What excites you about what you can accomplish in mobile gaming today?</strong></p> <p>There are so many things to be excited about. On one hand, the diversity provided by mobile gaming allows us to make the games we love. There&rsquo;s also the fact that there are so many players that can now access our games and enjoy them, giving us instant feedback. All of this contributes to the creation of better, funnier games. It&rsquo;s a great time to be a game developer.</p> <p><strong>How do you feel you're pushing things forward with this game?</strong></p> <p>A bigger team allowed us to really push the envelope in terms of art, level design and balance. This is our most complex, fast-paced, ambitious game to date, and we really devoted ourselves to make it as amazing as it could be. Sometimes going forward means to make a leap of faith, and sometimes it means to stay on course and keep building upon your previous work. We took the second alternative and let me tell you, we couldn't be happier with the results.</p> <p><strong>How do you see Android TV opening up new opportunities for game developers?</strong></p> <p>It is still too early to know. There could be a lot of potential, but we'll have to wait and see.</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:00:00 PST John Gaudiosi Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies releasing with Havoc DLC pack in early 2015 http://www.shacknews.com/article/87261/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-exo-zombies-releasing-with-havoc-dlc-pack-in-early-2015 http://www.shacknews.com/article/87261/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-exo-zombies-releasing-with-havoc-dlc-pack-in-early-2015 <p>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare&rsquo;s Exo Zombies mode has teased about <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/86437/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-trailer-debuts-exo-survival-mode">prior to the game&rsquo;s launch</a>, and today, Activision and Sledgehammer Games are finally ready to share not only some information regarding the mode, but also a brand-new trailer that highlights the game mode.</p> <p>Sledgehammer Games expects the first chapter of the Exo Zombies game mode to be released along with the Havoc DLC pack in early 2015. The developer shares the inclusion of a zombie mode actually didn&rsquo;t come about until the team was wrapping up Advanced Warfare, when the team started playing around with the idea of what would happen if zombies were mixed with the title&rsquo;s exoskeleton gameplay. The result is what will soon be available, Exo Zombies, which Sledgehammer is calling &ldquo;an entirely new breed of zombies and an entirely new co-op experience&rdquo; that&rsquo;s unique to Advanced Warfare.</p> <p>Those who are looking to kill countless zombies within Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare can choose to either purchase the Havoc DLC pack when it becomes available, or decide to purchase the title&rsquo;s season pass, which will include the pack along with others.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xGVxcwdqqAg"></iframe></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:05:00 PST Daniel Perez Tales From the Borderlands: Meet the cast http://www.shacknews.com/article/87246/tales-from-the-borderlands-meet-the-cast http://www.shacknews.com/article/87246/tales-from-the-borderlands-meet-the-cast <p><i>Warning: Contains some spoilers for Tales From The Bordelands Episode 1: Zer0 Sum.</i></p> <p>The next great Pandoran tale kicked off yesterday on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3 (and today on Xbox One) with the arrival of Tales From the Borderlands. It's the first official jump into post-Borderlands 2 lore, revealing a world without the villainous Handsome Jack. It also marked the introduction of the story's extensive cast, each with their own quirks, motivations, personalities, and back stories.</p> <p>The first episode, Zer0 Sum, is just the beginning of their tale. With Telltale lined up to deliver four more episodes of this particular Gearbox narrative, Shacknews is offering a peek into who each of these characters are and where their stories might be headed.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/tales_rhysfiona.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="348" /></div> <h2>Rhys</h2> <p>Co-protagonist Rhys is Borderlands' representation of the everyman. If you're an adult, you've likely witnessed workplace politics in one form or another. You've likely watched the office jerk either suck up or bully his way to the top. And you've likely been passed up for an accolade you feel you truly deserve. That's Rhys' story in a nutshell and that's exactly why he's taking his destiny in his own hands.</p> <p>Rhys fancies himself as the smartest person in the room, often to his detriment. He wrangles up his Ocean's 11-style backup with Vaughn and Yvette, but he mostly plays the rest of his plan by ear, which gets him in a lot of trouble. He tries to smooth talk his way out of certain situations, but often winds up getting nowhere and sometimes, it even gets him knocked unconscious.</p> <p>Visually, Rhys bears a resemblance to Handsome Jack, which is not a coincidence. Many of the dialogue options will parallel just the type of thing that Handsome Jack would say. It's clear that Rhys can either resist the temptation of corrupting power or cultivate it to the point that the story will eventually make him the next Handsome Jack. Where his story goes and how he manages his close friendship with Vaughn and his uneasy alliance with Fiona is ultimately up to the player. And whatever the player decides may or may not take Rhys down Handsome Jack's path.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/Tales-from-the-Borderlands.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="348" /></div> <h2>Fiona</h2> <p>Fiona is a total con artist from the very beginning, forced into that lifestyle due to her harsh upbringing in the cave city of Hollow Point. She's pulled many scams with the help of her sister Sasha and her father figure Felix, but Rhys' arrival with a $10 million briefcase looked to be the score of a lifetime. It didn't quite work out so well, especially when one of her schemes backfired and the fake Vault Key she brought in was shattered. Things got even worse when an actual Vault Hunter showed up and the speaker-powered Bossanova absconded with the briefcase.</p> <p>This is what kicks off her tenuous alliance with Rhys, though she never takes a step without remembering the lesson that Felix instilled in her: Don't trust anybody. It looks like the player will have plenty of opportunity to play her off as a cutthroat thief, but likewise have the chance to progress her to the point that she strays from Felix's teachings. The ending of the first episode signals that Fiona will need Rhys and Vaughn's help to get the ultimate prize at the end of the story. The question is whether the player will have her develop a bond with the Hyperion twosome over the course of the forthcoming episodes or take the first opportunity to stab them in the back?</p> <p>Another thing to look out for is the lone bullet that Felix supplies. Fiona gets more than one opportunity to use it during the first episode. If the player opts to keep it, it'll be interesting to see what other opportunities Telltale provides for her to use it. It may come in handy. On the other hand, if the player already used it, will they wish they hadn't?</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/vaughn-v2-hirez.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="349" /></div> <h2>Vaughn</h2> <p>Vaughn is the money man, so to speak. As Hyperion's accountant, he's the one that pulls out the $10 million that's supposed to allow Rhys to pick up the Vault Key. Needless to say, this doesn't quite go as smoothly as planned.</p> <p>Vaughn is somewhat neurotic, clearly unaware of what he's getting into by setting foot on Pandora. He's noticeably shaken by a lot of the violence that he witnesses up close, especially when it involves him getting dragged around like a rag doll. Given all of this, he's the type of guy that needs a lot of reassurance. A handful of Rhys and Fiona's responses will affect Vaughn's disposition and either help instill some confidence in him or make him regret ever coming along in the first place. Vaughn's personality will likely develop over the course of the next four episodes, as the harsh Pandora atmosphere may just toughen him up.</p> <p>By the end of the first episode, Vaughn is squarely in Hyperion's crosshairs for his actions regarding the money. Rhys is even given the chance to betray him in exchange for his own safety. However the player decides to play this scenario will influence Rhys' relationship with Vaughn over the course of the narrative. One thing looks to be certain and that's that Vaughn is fiercely loyal to Rhys, who he sees as his best friend. But in a game that's all about trust issues and betrayal, can anyone assume for sure that Vaughn will remain loyal for the entirety of the story?</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/tales_sasha.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="349" /></div> <h2>Sasha</h2> <p>An expert con artist in her own right, Sasha throws herself right into fray with the fake Vault Key that brings Rhys and Vaughn to Pandora. She can set up the con, but she'll often need Fiona's help to see it through to the end.</p> <p>Sasha can improvise when things get hairy, as evidenced by her first interaction with Rhys and Vaughn. Like her sister, she's also inherently distrustful of people, a lesson she learned from Felix. Her suspicions can either be confirmed or alleviated depending on what the player does with Rhys over the course of the episode.</p> <p>Sasha is also more attached to Felix than Fiona, as evidenced by her reaction to what happens at the end of the first episode. It looks to be something that could potentially fracture her relationship with her sister, but we'll have to wait until the next episode to find out.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/vasquez-and-the-floater.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="349" /></div> <h2>Vasquez</h2> <p>Vasquez is the big bad of this series. When he got wind that Rhys was about to be promoted, Vasquez stepped in and murdered the man set to deliver the promotion and usurped the position for himself. He thought he had a Vault Key deal ready to go, to boot, though it ultimately turned out to be the fake that Fiona, Sasha, and Felix had lined up.</p> <p>Vasquez's ruthlessness and arrogance are what cause Rhys and Vaughn to head down to Pandora to grab his Vault Key, but the villain's influence grows greatly over the course of the first episode. He quickly catches wind of Rhys' machinations and cuts off his resources, though he offers him leniency in exchange for Vaughn. However Rhys plays this situation may not matter, though. Vasquez is clearly someone that's not to be trusted under any circumstances.</p> <p>The Hyperion mastermind's presence in the next four episodes will only expand further, as he's now actively on the hunt for Rhys and Vaughn. Once he learns of the score that Rhys and Fiona are lining up for, however, his pursuit will intensify that much more.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/tales_august-gun.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="349" /></div> <h2>August</h2> <p>August is the man that organizes the Vault Key deal with Vasquez, only to find himself dealing with Rhys and Vaughn, instead. What he doesn't realize until later is that the Vault Key he has is a giant fake, a ruse orchestrated by Fiona, Sasha, and Felix.</p> <p>August is a fairly powerful gang leader in Pandora, which is apparent after his first meeting with Fiona. So needless to say, he doesn't take deception very well. When he learns that he was duped on both sides by Fiona and Sasha, as well as by Rhys and Vaughn, August goes into an incensed rage.</p> <p>While everyone eventually gets away, August isn't the type of person to forgive these transgressions. He'll also be on the hunt for Rhys and Fiona over the next several episodes, so expect to see his face again very soon.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/tales_felix.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="349" /></div> <h2>Felix</h2> <p>Felix is an old grizzled con man and the one who raises Fiona and Sasha since he first found them as children. On top of teaching them how to pull smooth, seamless scams, Felix also teaches them the harsh lesson that nobody is to be trusted.</p> <p>Felix is meticulous about his cons, frowning upon any attempt by Fiona or Sasha to improv their way through a grift. But make no mistake, if things take a twist, Felix can adapt quickly without losing sight of the goal. And as is made clear at the end of the first episode, he'll do whatever it takes to make sure he bags the big score.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 620px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/tales_zero-thru-billboard.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="349" /></div> <h2>Zer0</h2> <p>Zer0 is the wild card of this game and the only (living) returning character from Borderlands 2. Just when Rhys' Vault Key deal/Fiona's scam couldn't go further downhill, Zer0 busts in with Bossanova and his Bandit forces close behind. The fracas results in Bossanova taking the briefcase, which leads to Rhys and Fiona making their temporary alliance.</p> <p>Zer0 shows up again later in the story, mostly ignoring Rhys, Fiona, and company to focus on his own task. That task has something to do with a mysterious artifact called the Gortys Project, which is tied to a vault. Zer0 isn't able to find it himself, but Rhys and Fiona unwittingly stumble upon it at the end of the episode. Now that they're following its path, expect Zer0 to come back later in the story. And next time, he probably won't be so helpful.</p> <h2>???</h2> <p>There's also one other character whose presence is felt at the end of the episode, alongside the Gortys Project. We won't mention who it is, but expect to see plenty of this character over the remainder of the story.</p> <p>After all, without this person, there is no story, right?</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:00:00 PST Ozzie Mejia This War of Mine receives 1.1 update http://www.shacknews.com/article/87258/this-war-of-mine-receives-11-update http://www.shacknews.com/article/87258/this-war-of-mine-receives-11-update <p>It's brutally tough to fight in an active war and survive, but it's just as soul-crushingly difficult for the civilians stuck in the middle, too. That's been the premise behind 11-bit Studios' This War of Mine and players are quickly learning just how hard it is to see the end of the conflict. In fact, a recent infographic released by the developer shows that only <a href="http://www.11bitstudios.com/11bitfiles/ThisWarofMine_infographics.jpg" target="blank">11 percent of all players</a> have survived to the end of the war.</p> <p>As players continue their struggle to live through the night, This War of Mine has received its 1.1 update. This update adds some new character setups, as well as some new radio options, enhanced locations, and new animations to go along with a handful of bug fixes. You can see more details about that in the video below.</p> <p>This War of Mine is currently on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/282070/" target="blank">Steam</a> for 10% off.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7VoRTGuId0s?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:30:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Endless Legend gets free 'Visions of the Unseen' update http://www.shacknews.com/article/87256/endless-legend-gets-free-visions-of-the-unseen-update http://www.shacknews.com/article/87256/endless-legend-gets-free-visions-of-the-unseen-update <p>The 4X fantasy strategy game, Endless Legend, is getting some new content just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The Visions of the Unseen pack will add a chunk of new stuff to the Amplitude title and will do so at no extra charge.</p> <p>The Visions of the Unseen pack will add the game's 15th minor faction called the Eyeless Ones. This race of aliens blind their children at birth, causing them to enhance their non-visual senses throughout their life span. Other additions include ten new side quests, new Faction-related diplomatic interactions, and a slew of AI improvements. The full list of AI, balance changes, and bug tweaks can be found on the game's <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/289130/announcements/detail/148946267311465951" target="blank">Steam page</a>.</p> <p>Those looking to dive into the previous game in the Endless Space series can also find a new add-on for the original Endless Space called Chronicles of the Lost. This free update&nbsp;will add eight new exploration random events, 24 colonization random events, the ability to mod in-game graphics, and more. The full list of features and bug fixes can be found on that game's <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/endless-space/announcements/detail/234514660190252800" target="blank">Steam page</a>.</p> <p>The add-ons for both of these games are available now. Both of these 'Endless' games are a part of this weekend's Steam sale. Endless Legend is currently available for <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/289130/" target="blank">#23.44 (33% off)</a>, while Endless Space is going for <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/208140/" target="blank">$10.19 (66% off)</a>.</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:00:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Shack Deals: 25% off the NES30 Bluetooth Controller http://www.shacknews.com/article/87264/shack-deals-25-off-the-nes30-bluetooth-controller http://www.shacknews.com/article/87264/shack-deals-25-off-the-nes30-bluetooth-controller <p class="p1">Don&rsquo;t wait until this Friday to get in on all of the great gaming deals. <a href="https://deals.shacknews.com/sales/the-nes30-bluetooth-controller-a-gaming-classic-reinvented">Shacknews Deals</a>&nbsp;continues its efforts to bring you some spectacular savings on this weeks must have gaming gifts. Today we have have something special lined up for you. It&rsquo;s a bit of nostalgia with a twist of modern technology...</p> <p>The NES30 Bluetooth gamepad gives you everything you need to relive the glory days of gaming without the bulky console and stacks of dusty cartridges.&nbsp;Every detail of the NES30, right down to the graphics printed on the front, is meant to mimic the original&nbsp;<span class="caps">NES</span>&nbsp;gamepad design. The only difference here is Bluetooth or&nbsp;<span class="caps">USB</span>connectivity, 2 additional action buttons and 2 shoulder buttons which help to make this controller compatible with games from a variety of systems.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">TOP FEATURES</span></p> <ul> <li>Classic NES look and feel</li> <li>Connects via Bluetooth or USB cable</li> <li>Multiplayer support</li> <li>Reprogrammable keys</li> <li>Compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Wii and emulated games</li> <li>Rechargeable battery with 20+ hours per charge</li> </ul> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">For product specs and what comes in the box when you order one (or two) of these bad boys, head over to the Shack Deals product page by <a href="https://deals.shacknews.com/sales/the-nes30-bluetooth-controller-a-gaming-classic-reinvented">clicking here</a>!&nbsp;The sale ends Cyber Monday.</span></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:45:00 PST Shacknews Promotions Assassin's Creed Unity Season Pass canceled; Dead Kings DLC will be free to all http://www.shacknews.com/article/87255/assassins-creed-unity-season-pass-canceled-dead-kings-dlc-will-be-free-to-all http://www.shacknews.com/article/87255/assassins-creed-unity-season-pass-canceled-dead-kings-dlc-will-be-free-to-all <p>When it rains, it just keeps pouring for Assassin's Creed Unity. The latest domino to fall is the AC Unity season pass, which has officially been canceled. The result of this means that the upcoming Dead Kings DLC will be released as a free download for everyone.</p> <p>"Unfortunately, at launch, the overall quality of the game was diminished by bugs and unexpected technical issues," Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat stated on the <a href="http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/en-GB/news/news_detail.aspx?c=tcm:154-186654-16&amp;ct=tcm:148-76770-32" target="blank">Ubi Blog</a>. "I want to sincerely apologize on behalf of Ubisoft and the entire Assassin's Creed team. These problems took away from your enjoyment of the game, and kept many of you from experiencing the game at its fullest potential."</p> <p>Those that have previously purchased the AC Unity Season Pass will receive a free game from a list of select titles. They include The Crew, Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Rayman Legends, and Just Dance 2015. Details on how to claim the free game have not been revealed.</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:12:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Worms Battlegrounds leads December 'Games with Gold' http://www.shacknews.com/article/87253/worms-battlegrounds-leads-december-games-with-gold http://www.shacknews.com/article/87253/worms-battlegrounds-leads-december-games-with-gold <p>Microsoft has prepared its final batch of Games with Gold titles for 2014 and they have a lot of worms for people's stockings.</p> <p>Worms Battlegrounds will be the big free offering for Xbox One owners. The latest in the long-running Worms franchise is the first to hit next-gen consoles, having released in May of this year.</p> <p>Xbox 360 owners, meanwhile, can get their hands on the episodic mystery, The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief, from December 1st through the 15th. Afterwards, it's time to ring in the season by shredding in the snow with SSX. The extreme sports title will be available from the 15th through the 31st.</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:15:00 PST Ozzie Mejia PlayStation Plus December's free games includes Injustice, Hitman HD Triology, and more http://www.shacknews.com/article/87252/playstation-plus-decembers-free-games-includes-injustice-hitman-hd-triology-and-more http://www.shacknews.com/article/87252/playstation-plus-decembers-free-games-includes-injustice-hitman-hd-triology-and-more <p>Sony gave us a <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/87012/injustice-gods-among-us-and-infamous-first-light-joining-ps4-ps-plus-free-games-lineup">sneak peak</a>&nbsp;of its PlayStation Plus free games lineup earlier this month, and as we already expected, the big game coming to PS Plus members next month is Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition.</p> <p>Starting December 2, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita owners will be able to download a number of titles for free, as long as they&rsquo;re active PS Plus members. PS4 owners will be able to access Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition and a new indie title, Secret Ponchos. PS3 owners will be getting two full retail games as Hitman HD Trilogy and Deadly Premonition: The Director&rsquo;s Cut will be available to download. Last, but not least, PS Vita owners will be given access to Final Horizon, which is described as a &ldquo;2 minute tower defense game,&rdquo; and Titan Attacks!, which is cross-buy compatible.</p> <p>Considering there&rsquo;s going to be a swarm of new PlayStation owners this holiday season, I was hoping Sony would offer a much wider variety of big name games. Injustice is definitely one all PS4 owners should consider picking up next week, but I feel like PS3 has a better selection as Hitman HD Trilogy and Deadly Premonition are pretty good titles.</p> <p><iframe width="600" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QOTo-LMEp84"></iframe></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:05:00 PST Daniel Perez Dark Souls Steam transition delayed to December http://www.shacknews.com/article/87250/dark-souls-steam-transition-delayed-to-december http://www.shacknews.com/article/87250/dark-souls-steam-transition-delayed-to-december <p>Dark Souls <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/86802/dark-souls-on-pc-shifts-to-steamworks-in-november">was expected to transition</a>&nbsp;from Games for Windows Live to Steam this month, but it appears the title will miss its originally expected migration timeframe.</p> <p>According to Bandai Namco, the company is &ldquo;working hard to finalize the process to move your Dark Souls: Prepare to Die saves and achievements to Steam. We need to conduct additional testing and we are now hoping to begin this process in December." They also follow up their statement by saying they&rsquo;ll have more information regarding the game&rsquo;s migration to Steamworks &ldquo;in the coming weeks.&rdquo;</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s news is hot on the heels of <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/87230/dark-souls-2-coming-to-playstation-4-and-xbox-one-in-april-2015">yesterday&rsquo;s announcement</a>&nbsp;that Dark Souls II would be making its way to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Considering how much work was probably put into developing a current-gen version of Dark Souls II, then I could see why Dark Souls&rsquo; migration from Games for Windows Live to Steam would hit a snag, especially when it was originally released back in 2012.</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:30:00 PST Daniel Perez Minecraft on Xbox receives Star Wars Classic Skin Pack for $3 http://www.shacknews.com/article/87248/minecraft-on-xbox-receives-star-wars-classic-skin-pack-for-3 http://www.shacknews.com/article/87248/minecraft-on-xbox-receives-star-wars-classic-skin-pack-for-3 <p>Microsoft has announced they&rsquo;ve teamed up with Disney and Lucasfilm to allow Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of Minecraft the ability to visit a galaxy far, far away now that the Star Wars Classic Skin Pack is available.</p> <p>The skin pack includes a total of 55 skins that span through Star Wars Episode IV to Episode VI as you&rsquo;ll be able to play as a number of iconic characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and even Wicket. The Star Wars Classic Skin Pack is priced at $2.99, which isn&rsquo;t that pricey considering you&rsquo;re getting over 50 skins in this pack.</p> <p>No word from Microsoft when or if this pack will become available on additional platforms, but they did detail what exactly will be included in it:</p> <ul> <li>Luke Skywalker, Tatooine</li> <li>Luke Skywalker, X-wing Pilot</li> <li>Luke Skywalker, Bespin</li> <li>Luke Skywalker, Hoth</li> <li>Luke Skywalker, Dagobah</li> <li>Luke Skywalker, Endor</li> <li>Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight</li> <li>Han Solo, Smuggler</li> <li>Han Solo, Hoth</li> <li>Han Solo, Endor</li> <li>Chewbacca</li> <li>Princess Leia Organa, Senator</li> <li>Princess Leia Organa, Yavin 4</li> <li>Princess Leia Organa, Hoth</li> <li>Princess Leia Organa, Bespin</li> <li>Princess Leia, Jabba's Palace</li> <li>Princess Leia Organa, Endor</li> <li>Tusken Raider</li> <li>Stormtrooper</li> <li>Darth Vader</li> <li>Blockade Runner Soldier</li> <li>C-3PO</li> <li>Ben Kenobi</li> <li>Cantina Band Member</li> <li>TIE Fighter Pilot</li> <li>Walrus Man (Ponda Baba)</li> <li>Hammerhead (Momaw Nadon)</li> <li>Greedo</li> <li>Governor Tarkin</li> <li>Lando Calrissian, Bespin</li> <li>Boba Fett</li> <li>Bossk</li> <li>Dengar</li> <li>Zuckuss</li> <li>IG-88</li> <li>Emperor</li> <li>AT-AT Pilot</li> <li>Lobot</li> <li>Rancor Keeper</li> <li>Gamorrean Guard</li> <li>Lando Calrissian, Skiff Guard</li> <li>Princess Leia Organa, Boushh</li> <li>Oola</li> <li>Nien Nunb</li> <li>Bib Fortuna</li> <li>Scout Trooper</li> <li>Emperor's Royal Guard</li> <li>Admiral Ackbar</li> <li>R2-D2</li> <li>Yoda</li> <li>Jawa</li> <li>Wampa Ice Creature</li> <li>Wicket W. Warrick</li> <li>Rancor</li> <li>4-LOM</li> </ul> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:30:00 PST Daniel Perez Torchlight free this weekend on Arc, Torchlight 2 discounted to $5 http://www.shacknews.com/article/87247/torchlight-free-this-weekend-on-arc-torchlight-2-discounted-to-5 http://www.shacknews.com/article/87247/torchlight-free-this-weekend-on-arc-torchlight-2-discounted-to-5 <p>Torchlight will be <a href="http://www.arcgames.com/en/arc-news">free to download</a>&nbsp;starting today on Perfect World Entertainment&rsquo;s digital storefront, Arc, and will be available until this Sunday, November 30th.</p> <p>Torchlight originally released back in 2009 as a pretty good Diablo-esque hack &amp; slash loot-heavy RPG. If you take advantage of this weekend&rsquo;s Torchlight deal, Arc also has reduced Torchlight 2 from its original price of $20 to just $5. Just like the free Torchlight deal, Torchlight 2&rsquo;s reduced price will last until November 30.</p> <p>I enjoyed my time with Torchlight back when it was released, although I didn&rsquo;t get to complete it. I&rsquo;ll probably be taking advantage of the Torchlight 2 deal since I never had a chance to pick it up in the past, and $5 for the game sounds like a pretty good deal to me considering how many hours it&rsquo;ll eat up.</p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:45:00 PST Daniel Perez Shack Reels: 10 Super Smash Bros. characters we want http://www.shacknews.com/article/87245/shack-reels-10-super-smash-bros-characters-we-want http://www.shacknews.com/article/87245/shack-reels-10-super-smash-bros-characters-we-want <p>Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is butting heads on Nintendo's console right now with over 40 characters to choose from. But as is expected, there are some characters that were bound to be left on the cutting room floor.</p> <p>For today's Shack Reels video, Greg Burke takes a look at ten characters that will hopefully one day make the Smash Bros. cut. They may not be the most realistic names, for one reason or another, but they'd certainly be the most fun. Check out our list in the video below.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KQ-Zr88VkdQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:00:00 PST Shack Staff Assassin's Creed Unity 'Patch 3' addressing over 300 bugs this week http://www.shacknews.com/article/87244/assassins-creed-unity-patch-3-addressing-over-300-bugs-this-week http://www.shacknews.com/article/87244/assassins-creed-unity-patch-3-addressing-over-300-bugs-this-week <p>To say Assassin's Creed Unity launched with issues would be a bit of an understatement. And while Ubisoft has been rolling out <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/87121/ubisoft-details-upcoming-fixes-to-assassins-creed-unity">patches</a>, there are still more problems that need to be addressed. Today, the publisher has outlined a chunk of the 300+ (!) fixes that are set to be addressed with the upcoming Patch 3 set to deploy this week.</p> <p>Issues set to be fixed include random crashes in Campaign and Co-op, framerate drops, stuck spots, camera bugs, cover issues, animations quirks (like <a href="http://youtu.be/5DzsFMsIZPM" target="blank">this one</a>, hopefully), connectivity troubles, a slew of PC-specific issues, etc. etc. etc.</p> <p>I could go over each individual fix, but once again, there are <b>over 300 bugs</b> being addressed with this patch. The entire list can be found on the the <a href="http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/959126-Patch-3-Notes-Rolling-Out-This-week" target="blank">Ubisoft forums</a>, so brew a pot of coffee for this one. The patch will roll out on PlayStation 4 on Wednesday, with the Xbox One and PC patches set to release before the end of the week.</p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:15:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Alienware Alpha Review: A Game Console's Worst Nightmare http://www.shacknews.com/article/87242/alienware-alpha-review-a-game-consoles-worst-nightmare http://www.shacknews.com/article/87242/alienware-alpha-review-a-game-consoles-worst-nightmare <p>Since the dawn of time, Man has been trying to find a way to play their PC games for hours on end in a comfortable environment. Primitive computer desks and chairs didn&rsquo;t offer much comfort considering they were made out of rock, sticks, and animal entrails, but modern-day setups have offered a bit more support to game for long periods of time. But ultimately, Man dreams of being able to experience PC gaming on his living room couch without having to drag his&nbsp;towers and a million cables into a high-traffic room.</p> <p>Alienware introduced its Alpha during E3 2014 as a way for PC gamers to crawl out of their bedrooms, home offices, or any other room their PC calls home and back into the living room as their offering takes up very little space by measuring in at under 2.5-inches tall, 8-inches wide, and 8-inches deep. The Alpha comes with a wireless Xbox 360 controller, the Alienware Alpha UI, and Steam running in Big Picture Mode to bring PC gaming to whatever room you want to take it into. But can Alienware make PC gaming a bit more mainstream with their Alpha or should they go back to the drawing board to deliver an improved Beta? Our review.</p> <h2>Follow the KISS Principle</h2> <p>Alienware follows the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle with the Alpha, as it ships with its power adaptor, HDMI cable, and a wireless Xbox 360 controller. No more, no less. The process of setting up the Alpha was painless considering there weren&rsquo;t many peripherals I needed to set up and everything I input was done using the Xbox 360 controller.</p> <p>After about 10 or so minutes of configuring the Alpha by inputting my Microsoft account information, downloading updates, and registering my email with Alienware, I was on my way to its custom UI. The AlphaUI provides a more streamlined controller-based method of navigation that doesn&rsquo;t require a mouse and keyboard to interact with, although you <i>could</i> if you really wanted to by plugging them in via USB. The UI has four large icons: Launch Steam, Settings, Help, and Power. The Launch Steam icon allows you to launch the Big Picture Mode version of Steam, while Settings contains configuration information, such as your video resolution, audio quality, AlienFX customization, and HDMI settings.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 600px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/alienware-alpha-ui-carousel-1.png" alt="" width="600" height="336" /></div> <p>If you rather not deal with the Alpha UI, you can always go into desktop mode and treat the console like a desktop computer as it comes with Windows 8.1 installed. In fact, I had to do this a handful of times in order to get my wireless keyboard to function correctly as well as to play some games that weren&rsquo;t available on Steam, like Hearthstone and a number of EA titles that are only accessible through Origin. From my experience, there doesn&rsquo;t seem to be a method to automatically boot the Alpha into desktop mode if that&rsquo;s how you prefer to use it, so I&rsquo;m hopeful Alienware offers this in a future update as I personally would like to have the Alpha act as a PC when I&rsquo;m not using it, I&rsquo;d like to be able to stream videos from it using Plex.</p> <p>Alienware has equipped its AlphaUI to recognize a number of controller hotkeys that can assist you when Steam is being unresponsive. Initiating a hotkey requires both triggers and bumpers on the Xbox 360 controller to be pushed, along with one of the inputs on the face of the controller. One hotkey I used often was to launch the Alpha&rsquo;s systems menu, which was a combination of the hot key initiation combo along with a press of the guide button. It takes a little bit of practice to recall the hotkeys, but there are just a few actions that can be initiated, so you can pretty much blindly hit different parts of the controller to see what happens in hopes what you want it to do will be done.</p> <h2>Best of Both Worlds?</h2> <p>The PC community is well aware it&rsquo;s the best platform when it comes to gaming, but it&rsquo;s always had trouble getting itself into living rooms or anywhere else game consoles could go. But the Alpha seems to solve this problem by offering some pretty high-end internals fit within a small console enclosure. The review unit I was loaned featured an Intel Core i3-4130T and 4GB of DDR3 @ 1600MHz RAM along with an NVIDIA GTX 860M discrete-class GPU that was customized for the Alpha, all of which should be considered better specs than what modern-day consoles have running in them.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 600px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/aw_alpha_asm100_eml_04.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="421" /></div> <p>To be honest, I don&rsquo;t have as extensive a library as most PC gamers. I have around 150+ games in my library, with very few able to push a machine to its limits. In my testing, I played a wide variety of games like Gauntlet, Left 4 Dead 2, Magic 2015, Gone Home, PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+, BattleBlock Theater, The King of Fighters XIII, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I played all of these games at their highest graphic level possible, and I didn&rsquo;t notice any hiccups or lagging while playing them on the Alpha. I found this to be pretty impressive considering I was given an entry-level machine for review. Even more impressive was how cool the Alpha was able to keep itself while I was playing on it. I made sure to see how hot the console became while playing more demanding games, like Gauntlet, Gone Home, The King of Fighters XIII, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and its rear felt warm near its exhausts, but overall, I couldn&rsquo;t notice an increase in temperature.</p> <p>Unlike modern-day consoles, opening the Alpha won&rsquo;t void your warranty in any way, and in fact, Alienware encourages it by making the process of opening the console extremely easy. All you need to do is remove four screws located at the bottom portion of the console then flip it over to gain access to the Alpha&rsquo;s sweet, sweet innards. Heatsink shrouds for both the CPU and GPU can easily be removed simply by squeezing a particular spot on them, allowing you to replace a number of things, such as the RAM or CPU. While I&rsquo;m on the subject of specs, the Alpha has two USB 3.0 ports on its back, two USB 2.0 ports in the front, and an additional USB 2.0 port tucked away in a hidden compartment underneath the console. If a device you&rsquo;re using with the Alpha has a USB dongle, this would be the best place to use it.</p> <h2>Personal Computer Tendencies</h2> <p>As I said earlier in my review, my library isn&rsquo;t as filled as most PC gamers for the fact that I <em>just </em>started getting back into it over the past year. I tend to purchase most of my games on console due to their ease of use as well as my personal friends often play on consoles instead of PC. With that said, if you&rsquo;re considering the Alpha, you better be all in when it comes to Steam as not all of your games will offer Gamepad support, especially older games. So out of my 150+ games, Steam informed me about 50 of them offered Gamepad support, making it much easier to play them on the Alpha.</p> <p>Even though a mouse and keyboard aren&rsquo;t necessary to use the Alpha, I personally feel you should at least consider a wireless keyboard and mouse or touchpad if you want to play some games that only support that input method. Although in my experience, a number of games in my library that were marked as keyboard and mouse only were usable with the Xbox 360 gamepad, so keep that in mind. But there were some games, like Hatoful Boyfriend or Team Fortress 2, that I really wanted to play, but didn&rsquo;t want to have to pry myself from my comfy couch and my extremely fluffy blanket, so a keyboard and mouse were needed.</p> <h2>The Alpha and Omega</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 600px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2014/11/dell-alienware-alpha-header-600x286.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="286" /></div> <p>Alienware has been manufacturing products geared towards PC gaming for a <em>very </em>long time. The Alpha is yet another product that puts PC gaming completely in the forefront of the company&rsquo;s mind, but also delivering a product for those who may not know a lot about PCs are able to pick up and enjoy, rather than spending a number of sleepless nights wondering if they should go with an NVIDIA or AMD graphics card.</p> <p><span>The Alpha would make a great addition to anyone&rsquo;s living room if they would like to bring their love of PC gaming away from their computer desk and chair. What makes it stand out is how it&rsquo;s able to offer a high level of performance in such a small form. So not only will it not take up a huge amount of real estate in your home, but it&rsquo;s also highly transportable allowing its owner to take it from room to room or even trips to their friends&rsquo; house or anywhere else. I was already enjoying playing PC games from my desktop computer, but I feel the Alpha has made me an even bigger fan of PC gaming.</span></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:00:00 PST Daniel Perez Humble Sega Bundle goes to its Dreamcast roots http://www.shacknews.com/article/87239/humble-sega-bundle-goes-to-its-dreamcast-roots http://www.shacknews.com/article/87239/humble-sega-bundle-goes-to-its-dreamcast-roots <p>'Tis the season for nostalgia, according to the folks at Sega and Humble Bundle. Sega would like its audience to remember the good old days of the Dreamcast with the Humble Sega Bundle. And of course, it's also offering up a few more modern games, as well.</p> <p>Sega fans can <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/?sega_bundle" target="blank">pay what they want</a> for the Dreamcast Collection (which is Sonic Adventure DX Director's Cut, Crazy Taxi, Space Channel 5 Part 2, and Sega Bass Fishing all in one game), Nights Into Dreams, Sonic &amp; All-Stars Racing Transformed, the Total War Rome II 'Caesar in Gaul' DLC, and the Football Manager 2015 'Miles' Tactic' DLC. The latter two are somewhat notable in that the base games are not offered anywhere in this bundle.</p> <p>Another notable offering comes in the incentives. Pay more than the average (which is hovering around $3.60) to get Empire: Total War and Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies: Oberkommando West standalone expansion. The latter comes just months after it was released, opening up a new Western Front campaign through the eyes of a new German army.</p> <p>Paying $12 will net users Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai. Meanwhile, $50 will offer up an exclusive Dreamcast T-shirt. It may be one of the most expensive T-shirts ever made, but of course, as is the case with all Humble Bundles, proceeds will go to charity. In this case, money will go to AbleGamers, the Willow Foundation, SpecialEffect, and GamesAid.</p> <p>The Humble Sega Bundle will run through December 9 and more games are expected to be added to this bundle in the coming days.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IdXu5YMPyA8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Street Fighter pro Justin Wong discusses the Daigo Parry, 37 Reloaded, and more http://www.shacknews.com/article/87238/street-fighter-pro-justin-wong-discusses-the-daigo-parry-37-reloaded-and-more http://www.shacknews.com/article/87238/street-fighter-pro-justin-wong-discusses-the-daigo-parry-37-reloaded-and-more <p>Last weekend was a moment of celebration for fighting game players and fans of all stripes. It marked ten years since Evo Moment 37, better known to many as the "Daigo Parry." To celebrate, the folks at Super Arcade and Level|Up organized a special anniversary tournament that included an exhibition between the two players that helped make the moment happen: Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara.</p> <p>For those unfamiliar with the unforgettable sequence, Wong and Umehara faced off in the latter stages of a Street Fighter III: Third Strike tournament (not in Grand Finals, as is a popular misconception), with Daigo down to a sliver of health. Justin went in for the kill with Chun-Li's 'Houyoku Sen' Super Art move, but Daigo parried every single one of the nine strikes, taking no damage and going on to win the match. It is a legendary moment and one that even non-fighting game fans have come to recognize and appreciate.</p> <p>Prior to the long-awaited rematch, Justin Wong took a moment to talk to our own Sam Leichtamer. Among the topics discussed are the lead-up to 37 Reloaded, how Moment 37 changed fighting games, Justin's mindset at the moment of the Daigo Parry, how he continued on as a competitor, and how Twitch has changed competitive gaming.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rOsyWEKo_kc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>For those curious as to how the rematch went down, visit the <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/superdojo/b/592174457" target="blank">Super Arcade Twitch stream</a> of the event. And indeed, just as Justin told Sam, he did set the stage for the Daigo Parry <a href="http://youtu.be/2d6TMw8hx4U" target="blank">one more time</a>.</p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:15:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition leads Xbox digital Black Friday sale http://www.shacknews.com/article/87237/diablo-3-ultimate-evil-edition-leads-xbox-digital-black-friday-sale http://www.shacknews.com/article/87237/diablo-3-ultimate-evil-edition-leads-xbox-digital-black-friday-sale <p>Savvy Black Friday shoppers are learning each year that it's much easier to avoid crowds and get the best deals online through digital venues. Microsoft sees the way the winds are blowing and are offering some fine deals on several notable digital Xbox One games through the end of the week.</p> <p>Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is one of the major headliners of this sale, going for <a href="https://store.xbox.com/Xbox-One/Games/Diablo-III-Reaper-of-Souls-Ultimate-Evil-Edition/998bb45d-6a74-4587-8c40-fee36e3fefc8?cid=majornelson">$34.99</a>, which is 40% off of its normal asking price. Here are some of the other notable Xbox One deals:</p> <ul> <li>Defense Grid 2 - <a href="https://store.xbox.com/en-US/Xbox-One/Games/Defense-Grid-2/d61fbdfe-c184-4f9d-9c91-158a7b48a8d3">$12.49 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Forza Motorsport 5 GOTY Edition - <a href="https://store.xbox.com/en-US/Xbox-One/Games/Forza-Motorsport-5-Game-of-the-Year-Edition/5e433334-c3a6-41b7-99db-3c4a0d74acba">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Killer Instinct: Ultra Edition Add-on - <a href="https://store.xbox.com/en-US/Xbox-One/DLC/Killer-Instinct-Ultra-Edition-Add-On/743bcfc6-aca4-4e86-a0b8-0ae3572712f7">$20.00 (50% off)</a></li> </ul> <p>An even larger number of Xbox 360 titles are also on sale, including Battleblock Theater, Mirror's Edge, the Devil May Cry HD Collection, and the Skate franchise. For the full list of items on sale, check out <a href="http://majornelson.com/2014/11/25/weeks-deals-gold-black-friday-edition/" target="blank">Major Nelson's website</a>.</p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:30:00 PST Ozzie Mejia Opinion: Does Advanced Warfare Answer the Call of Duty? http://www.shacknews.com/article/87232/opinion-does-advanced-warfare-answer-the-call-of-duty http://www.shacknews.com/article/87232/opinion-does-advanced-warfare-answer-the-call-of-duty <p><span color="red" style="color: red;"><strong>WARNING</strong></span>: <i>This aricle contains plot spoilers for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.</i></p> <p>In October 2003, a game shook up the video game world the way few others could. Its developer, Infinity Ward, was comprised of a team that had previously worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. As almost a nod to those origins, the studio named its&nbsp;game Call of Duty, inspired by how a soldier is awarded the highest military honor for "personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty." Beyond that, Call of Duty represented World War II in a way that reminded gamers that the Allied forces were comprised of multiple nations by putting players in the roles of three different soldiers. Running into battle without a gun and picking one up from a dead comrade, or else you'd be shot by your own commanding officers, is still a scene with a strong sense of resonance.</p> <p>The series went through a lot of changes over next few years, including a switch from a WWII setting to the modern era in 2007. Fighting the Axis forces became a battle against terrorist and insurgent forces. Despite those changes, and how the series increasingly leaned on movie-style action, it managed to hold on to on to the idea that its characters were still performing acts of valor that went beyond the call of duty for their country. However, that ideal steadily eroded over with each successive blockbuster hit, with Modern Warfare 3 essentially being a sort of revenge tale. Still, at least games tried to keep a sense of nationality. Even additions like the Black Ops trilogy has players in the role of covert op US soldiers, while Ghosts involves a military group fighting for a shattered nation. It might not always be pretty, but at there's always a cause or some sense of purpose that brings any given series back to the call of duty.</p> <p>This year introduces Advanced Warfare, the start of a new Call of Duty series that <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/87003/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-review-modern-again">we enjoyed</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;brings us in to the near future. One where soldiers use high-tech futuristic gear like smart grenades and Exoskeleton armor, while private military contractors (PMCs) are the main fighting force for most of the world. The story sticks to a single character's point of view, that of Private Jack Mitchell, further wearing away the idea that wars are won by armies, not individuals. More importantly, can any act of valor be honored if it's done as a mercenary for the sole profit of a private company? Especially one with the tagline, "We don't sell policy. We sell power. We're a superpower for hire."</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/209650/ss_92953dcb899cecd3d97115042b08367be66e884b.1920x1080.jpg?t=1416441302" alt="" width="700" height="393" /></div> <p>Although Advanced Warfare's scope might be a bit farfetched, the idea might not be. Fighting two prolonged wars in the Middle East requires a lot of manpower, and even high-risk jobs like escorting US officials in Iraq were outsourced to mercenaries comprised of ex-military. PMCs were employed with such frequency that they were often regarded as America's second army. At about the same time, Veteran Services was completely overwhelmed, and the Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin Laden came forward to state that <a href="http://www.esquire.com/features/man-who-shot-osama-bin-laden-0313" target="_blank">he was totally screwed</a>. This, and a list of other reasons, are&nbsp;steadily&nbsp;making the US Military a less appealing career choice.</p> <p>So, it seems entirely believable that a former US Marine who is injured in combat might find himself employed by a PMC, equipped with the best weaponry the private sector can afford, and hired to do high-risk jobs. However, once the game's main character has officially become a mercenary, offering his services to the highest bidder regardless of nationality, is there a such thing as a call of duty anymore? Perhaps a better title would be Call of Paycheck, or maybe just Payday, if the title weren't already taken. Keep in mind that PMCs technically don't have a nationality, they have contracts. Private soldiers are sent all over the world to protect whoever is paying them, even if it happens to be against the interests of the United Nations or the country where the PMC's headquarters is located. So, a scenario where a PMC comprised of ex-US military has to defend a ruthless warlord from active US forces is quite possible. It's might even be possible to have to PMCs, or branches of the same one with conflicting contracts, fight against each other.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/209650/ss_48bfc681fdf8ecb4ecabf4553f2f6a7fcb9183de.1920x1080.jpg?t=1416441302" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Advanced Warfare attempts to sidestep the matter in two ways: First by trying to legitimatize Atlas as a quasi-nation by having the United Nations formally recognize it, and makes it part of the security council as the organization's first corporate entity. Although it would be incredibly unlikely for a multinational corporation, with no government structure to speak of, to be inducted into the United Nations (one would think that being a nation would be a prerequisite), at least the it creates a small sense of nationalism. In the scope of the story, it validates what Jonathan Irons (founder and president of Atlas Corporation) has to say about the UN--in that if the UN is so reliant on PMCs to supplement its peacekeeping forces that it inducts one as a member, then it truly is an obsolete organization. There's no greater evidence of this than when Irons announces during his induction speech that his company has developed, manufactured, and stockpiled a weapon of mass destruction called Manticore right under their noses.</p> <p>Secondly, Mitchell is contacted by his former commanding officer, Sergeant Cormack, who offers him a position in the Sentinel Task Force, an international team established to oppose Atlas' power. But it's worth noting that Mitchell doesn't join the task force until after he discovers that Irons allowed terrorists to kill thousands of people in an effort to throw the world into chaos and increase his own power. By then, Mitchell is a wanted man, hunted by Atlas, and has nowhere to turn. So, no points for taking the only choice available to him or being forced to help clean up the mess he indirectly helped create, however unwittingly. But hey, at least we're back to some sense of nationalism or morality again.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/209650/ss_1d73be29438988189ae25b94403be0fafdacf84c.1920x1080.jpg?t=1416441302" alt="" width="700" height="393" /></div> <p>Where Advanced Warfare's plot really falls apart is when Irons talks about how the private sector is stronger, more advanced, and more efficient than any government because it doesn't rely on things like democracy or beholden to tax payer dollars, when in fact it is. Atlas makes its money through government contracts, funded by tax dollars. Its employees don't stick around out of some misguided sense of loyalty, but because they get nice paychecks. I'm guessing nothing would make those contracts go away, drying up whatever stockpiles of money Atlas might have, quite like&nbsp;effectively holding the world at gunpoint with an insane plan to remove all politicians by attacking every military base in the world.</p> <p>Are Atlas soldiers really so cold&nbsp;that they'd be willing to stay with a corporation that's attacking their home countries and killing their friends and former brothers in arms? Even if money is their only motivation, there's still the fact that Atlas is destroying its only source of revenue, and keeping the&nbsp;peace after wrecking&nbsp;the world's governments is a incomprehensibly costly venture. How did Irons get the board of directors to agree to this? Not to mention Atlas' funds are presumably kept in banks, and not some giant Scrooge McDuck style money bin, so its assets can be traced and frozen by the nations it threatens.</p> <p>Lastly, Mitchell decides to let Irons die instead of capturing him alive, which would have been the preferable outcome. They could have grilled him for intelligence and tried him for crimes against humanity to make an example out of him. Instead, players are given a setup for the inevitable sequel.</p> <p>But where are the "personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty"? Can there be a call of duty when there is no nation to call for it? Is there any valor in being a soldier-for-hire working for a corporation that later turns out to be the biggest terrorist organization the world has ever seen? Even fighting against your former employer is more of an act atonement, which meets the minimum requirements for the call of duty, but does not go beyond it.</p> <p>Perhaps the only real honorable moment is at the beginning of the game, when Private Will Irons (Jonathan Irons' son) gives his life to defend South Korea from a North Korea attack. In that act, he defends both a democracy and a United States ally from an invading dictatorship. The rest of the game is just everyone else trying to deal with that sacrifice. In that specific moment, and with a character who dies almost immediately, maybe Advanced Warfare does go beyond the call of duty.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:00:00 PST Steven Wong PSA: Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire 'Shiny Beldum' now available http://www.shacknews.com/article/87235/psa-pokemon-omega-rubyalpha-sapphire-shiny-beldum-now-available http://www.shacknews.com/article/87235/psa-pokemon-omega-rubyalpha-sapphire-shiny-beldum-now-available <p>Pokemon fans, remember that <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/85713/pokemon-omega-rubyalpha-sapphire-gets-three-more-mega-evolutions-and-a-shiny-beldum">Shiny Beldum</a> that was mentioned months before last week's Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire release? Well, the special Pokemon is officially available, starting today. And it's bringing along with it the Metagrossite item that will evolve your Metagross into Mega Metagross.</p> <p>The Pokemon Company previously <a href="http://www.pokemonrubysapphire.com/en-ca/pokemon/get-a-shiny-beldum" target="blank">teased</a> the giveaway during the game's launch, but have confirmed that they have started giving the rare Pokemon away. Those looking to add a Shiny Beldum to their collection can get it through an in-game internet distribution that leaves the Pokemon in your Mystery GIft slot. Of course, you'll need a copy of either Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire to pick it up, so the giveaway will be active until January 14 to offer holiday flexibility.</p> <p>For more on what Shiny Beldum (as well a Shiny Metang and Shiny Metagross) can do, watch the video below.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uAjbHF-nUXs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:30:00 PST Ozzie Mejia
Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters
Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election
Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source
Researchers Discover an "Off Switch" For Pain In the Brain
Ask Slashdot: Best Drone For $100-$150?
Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet
Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs
Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke
Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle
Syrian Electronic Army Takes Credit For News Site Hacking
Apple and Amazon Launch Black Friday Price War
Riecoin Breaks World Record For Largest Prime Sextuplet, Twice
Edsac Goes Live, At UK's National Museum of Computing
Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions
Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission
Trolan's LJ
Name meaning meme thingie
YIR... no, there's not enough to recap for that
Serenity Quiz
OMG, I made an LJ entry
Fun with LJTalk/Jabber/gaim
Deal with it. (I'm such a card)
It's blasphemy delicious!
Ups and Downs
Oh yeah
Pointless entry to signify life
Communications Update; Part Deux
Communications Update
CCNP... completed
Things you overhear...