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New "Shock Operations" Mode Coming To Battlefield 1 In June

While everyone's speculating on what the 2018 edition of Battlefield will be, DICE continues to tinker with its World War I entry. The studio has plans to support the game throughout the year.

The most interesting new feature coming to the game is Shock Operations, a more quick-hitting version of the popular Operations mode that focuses the 40-player, sectors-based firefight around one map. This should make the matches go much more quickly than the expansive skirmishes of the original mode. Shock Operations is coming to give maps – Giant’s Shadow, Prise de Tahure, Lupkow Pass, Zeebrugge, and River Somme. Though many of these maps are reserved for Premium members or those who bought expansions, they will be available to all players for Shock Operations, which launches in June. 

In addition, DICE plans to roll out the They Shall Not Pass maps to all players over the year, starting with Rupture, which is available to play now for all Battlefield 1 players. Throughout the year, Battlefield 1 will continue to receive new gameplay updates as well.

 

Our Take
Continuing the support for Battlefield 1 is a smart move, as Battlefield 4 demonstrated these titles can have tails that extend well beyond the first couple of years after release. 

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 4:34 am

Disgaea: Hour Of Darkness Being Remastered In Disgaea 1 Complete

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness made our list of Top 50 RPGs of All Time, and this fall you'll be able to see what our fuss was about on the PS4 and Switch courtesy of Disgaea 1 Complete.

The title naturally features HD graphics, and Nippon Ichi is currently taking pre-orders for a Rosen Queen's Finest Edition on both systems for $99.99.

You can see the full contents of the special Finest Edition here, and it includes an official soundtrack, hardcover art book, Prinny Pouch Collector's box, and much more.

[Source: Official PlayStation Blog and NIS America] 

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 3:45 am

Fortnite Bringing Back 50v50

Epic is bringing back an improved version of 50v50 limited-time game mode, as well as encore missions and neon weapons for Save the World, and more.

The changes are part of the game's 3.5 and 3.5.2 updates, which also include a double XP weekend starting today (Thursday, April 19) until Sunday, April 22, a reversal of the peeking feature back to what it used to be before 3.5, and the addition of a LMG with 100 rounds of medium ammo.

For the full patch notes, click here.

[Source: Epic Games] 

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 3:00 am

Infinity War DLC For Marvel Super Heroes 2 Lets You Play As Thanos

Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a game that's big on referencing all your favorites from the Marvel universe, and it's about to get a little more jampacked. To coincide with the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel and Warner Bros. have announced that a new DLC is on the way that includes characters and a level inspired by the film.

The DLC will let you play as the big purple dude himself, according to Warner Bros:

This action-packed level offers players the chance to control Thanos, one of the most dangerous Super Villains in the Marvel Universe, and his ruthless army.

No word on when the DLC actually comes out but considering the movie's out on April 27, it's probably fair to assume the DLC will hit around then.

For more on Marvel Super Heroes 2, check out our review here.

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:33 am

This Nioh Statue Will Only Set You Back $1,000

Prime 1 Studio's latest video game statue immortalizes Nioh's William Adams and his guardian spirit in polystone. This statue falls into Prime 1's Premium Masterline series, and stands in at 24 inches in height. Prime 1 hopes this collectible will be available between June and August of 2019.

Only 750 units are being made of this limited edition version, which retails for $999. If that price tag is too steep for you, another statue of William that doesn't have the guardian spirit, and only stands in at 17 inches in height, retails for $599. This lower-end model isn't limited in quantity.

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:22 am

Map Selection Coming To PUBG

In a blog post on Steam, PUBG Corp. has not only announced that the PC version of the title is getting map selection, but the post explains the process of doing so.

The developer says the actual final U.I. may be different in the game from the one above, but you can select multiple maps and the game will randomly select one for you.

No specific timeframe has been announced for the feature, but it should be available "soon" – first on the test server and then for everyone shortly after.

[Source: PUBG Corporation] 

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:21 am

Pokemon Go Focuses On Charmander In May Community Day

In April, Pokemon Go was all about sheep. In May, it is all about everyone's favorite flaming tail lizard.

While choosing Charmander in Red/Blue was essentially hard mode considering the first two gyms were Rock and Water, those that stuck it out got Charizard in the end. Starting May 19, you can relive that feeling with increased Charmander spawns, finally letting people easily attain Charizards of their own. 

As with most Pokemon Go special events, evolutions proffer special skills onto certain Pokemon. In this case, Charmeleons that become Charizards will get an exclusive move. In addition, shiny Pokemon are more likely during events, so getting a shiny Charizard is not unlikely.

Event times vary by region, so consult this chart provided by Niantic to find out when you can start catching on May 19.

You can find the full post at the Pokemon Go hub here.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 2:00 pm

Rumor: Merged Zamasu Is The Next Dragon Ball FighterZ DLC Character

This week, Japanese magazine V Jump, a Shuishea-published magazine that focuses on manga news and video games based on manga, is set to reveal the next Dragon Ball FighterZ DLC character. Reports are circulating on Japanese and English social media that the newest character shown in early leaks appears to be Merged Zamasu.

Caution ahead, as Dragon Ball Super spoilers follow. Stop reading here if you don't care to read them.

Merged Zamasu is the earring-powered fusion of both Goku Black and Future Zamasu. The two decided to fuse after Future Zamasu realizes that, despite being immortal, he can still be imprisoned. The fusion combines his immortality with Goku Black's power in a form that mostly resembles Future Zamasu with Goku Black's height and some other features. Characters note that Merged Zamasu is powerful beyond comprehension in a very literal sense.

In terms of fighting style, Merged Zamasu has mutations from his fusion being unstable, and also a wall of light protecting him that has to be brute forced through. It's not clear from what inspirations the game will draw from if he is indeed the next DLC character. So far, the only two revealed DLC characters have been Bardock and Brolly, both of whom have been released already.

 

Our Take
If the leaked DLC list is true, and thus far it has been, Merged Zamasu is likely to come sooner or later. I know a lot of people don't enjoy Super characters, but I genuinely liked the entire Zamasu arc, though I'm not sure I'll enjoy playing as him when Goku Black is already there.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 1:28 pm

Sonic Mania Accidentally Patched With Improvements Early

Yesterday, owners of Sonic Mania on PlayStation 4 were surprised to find a patch downloading for last year's 2D Sonic revival, only for Sega to quickly pull the patch from the servers.

The update went live and the very active classic Sonic fanbase immediately started playing through the game to figure out the differences. With Sonic Mania Plus, a re-release of the game with a special encore mode and two new characters, still on the horizon, it was assumed that Sega was simply patching in a lot of the improvements into the base game. However, Sonic Mania Plus still had no specific release date, so the patch was decidedly confusing.

Among other things, players discovered that all levels now have transitions between each other, which was previously only the case between a few of them. In addition, one often criticized boss fight has had its final phase changed to a reference to Knuckles Chaotix, the 1995 32X game.

Some other small quality of life changes, like the option to remove time limits as a whole if you like, have also been added. It's unclear if this is the extent of the changes or merely a work-in-progress version accidentally uploaded to consumer servers. We contacted Sega today to get clarification about this patch, who only pointed us to this tweet by Sonic the Hedgehog social media and PR person Aaron Webber: "Hi all – you may have seen that we’re releasing a free update to Sonic Mania in the future, in addition to Sonic Mania Plus.  Both are officially coming out in the summer, so please stay tuned and avoid any spoilers until then!"

Sonic Mania released last year, while the revamped Sonic Mania Plus releases, as the tweet says, sometime this summer.

 

Our Take
It's good to see that a lot of the changes are coming to the base game, as well. Though at this point I'm honestly more curious how this happened at all. I wonder if there are more changes that just have yet to be discovered.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 12:39 pm

Monster Hunter World April Update Coming Tonight

As the Asteran flower festival winds down with only a scant few hours left, Capcom is pushing out the second major update to the game since release.

The April update, which was first hinted at last month and given a few more details earlier in the week, adds a new elder dragon to the roster. Kulve Taroth, a golden beast with a coat of glittering metal, joins the list of huntable beasts. Alongside Kulve Taroth is the first new environment added post-release, The Caverns of El Dorado, which are created by both the Everstream and the Kulve Taroth's tendencies to hoard trinkets.

Kulve Taroth also introduces the new type of Siege mission, which divides sixteen players intro groups of four to fight the monster off. The Siege event will be time-limited, but Capcom does plan to occasionally rotate it back in.

The update will have a number of tweaks and changes, as well. Players can now sell all their trade-in items at once, so bandit mantle runs should be a bit faster. Camera now doesn't follow scoutflies immediately upon traveling to a camp and ivy can be cultivated at the ancient tree for the first time. You can find the full list of changes and fixes here.

The update launches for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

 

Our Take
I am excited to find out how exactly Siege works, but I'm also a little apprehensive that it'll be really cool and then it will just go away. Scheduling it makes it more likely to find enough people at once, but we also don't know yet or frequent or infrequent it will be.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 11:06 am

Sega Surveying Interest In Fist Of The North Star Localization

Now that Yakuza 6 is out and fans of the series are immersing themselves in Kazuma Kiryu's latest and last adventure, Sega is asking western gamers how they want their next taste of Yakuza-style gameplay.

The survey, which was given out to purchasers of Yakuza 6, asks fans whether they would be interested in the Fist of the North Star-flavored game from the Yakuza team. Titled Hokuto ga Gotoku, or roughly translated to Like A North Star to play off the Yakuza series Japanese title of Like A Dragon, the game has been in sort of a limbo in regards to localization. This survey is the third time Sega has asked, indicating that they want to bring the game over but have not yet committed to it.

“While no localization has been announced at this time, how interested are you in the Fist of the North Star game created by the developers of Yakuza?” the survey question reads.

Like A North Star takes the Fist of the North Star license and wraps it around Yakuza gameplay, to the point where Kazuma Kiryu's voice actor plays protagonist Kenshiro, and an optional Kiryu skin can be used for the entire game. The game released last month on PlayStation 4 in Japan.

 

Our Take
This is kind of a rough one, because it's easy to see Sega's hesitance here. Fist of the North Star games have come to America before, but traditionally don't do very well. The series doesn't have the same mind share something like Dragon Ball Z does in the west, or even much less popular series. On the other hand, I do want to play it, so I hope it gets localized. I can see why Sega is polling on it so aggressively.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 6:47 am

Legendary Pokemon Raikou And Entei Are Being Distributed Soon

The Pokemon Company has finally answered the question of who let the dogs out. It turns out it was them. Mystery solved.

Legendary Pokemon from the second generation, Gold/Silver/Crystal, are being distributed out of Target starting April 22 through the very time-limited date of April 29. That gives you just one week to grab Entei, the fire legendary, and Raikou, the electric legendary, for your copies of Pokemon Sun/Ultra Sun or Pokemon Moon/Ultra Moon respectively. Your version determines what legendary you get, so bring both if you want both!

I am curious if Pokemon distribution events will be handled in a similar way when the game eventually comes to Switch.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 5:51 am

Bloodthirsty Dinos Abound In Final Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Trailer

The final trailer before Fallen Kingdom's release reiterates that meddling with dino DNA is still a really bad idea.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the second film in the Jurassic World trilogy, and turns the franchise's formula on its head: Instead of running away from all the man-eating dinosaurs, the protagonists – led by returning dino trainer/Hollywood hunk Chris Pratt – are tasked with saving them from an impending volcanic eruption. As it turns out, that still involves a lot of running away from the prehistoric predators, which seem perfectly content with turning their would-be saviors into a last meal. 

The new trailer opens with Chris Pratt getting a little too cozy with a (momentarily) captured T. rex, and things quickly go haywire from there. After steadily upping the ante for ridiculous action in the last few installments, Fallen Kingdom looks like it's taking a massive leap into full-on monster movie territory. Seriously, Dr. Wu, what the heck are you thinking?!

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is set to release on June 22. You can check out the previous trailer here, or watch a few more ridiculous trailers in this week's edition of Sci-Fi Weekly.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 5:46 am

New Details About Updated Xbox Live Avatars Revealed In Leaked Video

Last E3, Microsoft provided the first look at the new Xbox Live Avatars for Xbox One and Windows 10. They were supposed to have been released last fall, but the characters were a no-show. A leaked video has surfaced showing off a fresh look at the updated avatar system, with a focus on customization options.

A short video appeared on a designer's website and YouTube, which showed off some of the functionality. They've since been pulled, but members of the ResetEra forums snagged them before they vanished. 

The clip shows face customization, including eye color (selected via a rotating color wheel); hair; clothing, including tops, bottoms, and outfits; as well as moods, which change the character's default animation set. It ends with a quick look at the photobooth, which is where users can pose and rotate their avatars, presumably to snap images for gamerpics.

There's no official release window for the new avatars, but The Verge is reporting that they'll be arriving in May, along with a dashboard update and avatar storefront, for people who want to purchase add-ons for their virtual selves.

[Source: ResetEra via The Verge]

 

Our Take
I kind of liked the avatars on the 360, and I liked getting little props as rewards for getting certain achievements. I know a lot of people hated them, but I noticed a curious detail about that: Some of the people I knew who griped the loudest had clearly spent an awful lot of time meticulously recreating themselves in avatar form. Hmmmm... 

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 3:15 am

Super Mega Baseball 2 Release Date & DLC Announced

Metalhead Software has announced that previously delayed title Super Mega Baseball 2 will come out on May 1 (PS4, Xbox One, PC via Steam) for $29.99.

The baseball game features cross platform play (between PC and Xbox One and PC and PS4), new player animations and models, co-op/competitive online modes with dedicated servers, and more.

The developer has also announced that there will be three DLC packs of cosmetic customization content on launch day ($3.49-$4.49), with more possibly to come depending on fans' feedback.

For more on the game, read my interview with Metalhead's Scott Drader from an installment of The Sports Desk.

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[Source: Metalhead Software] 

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 2:50 am

Konami Not Renewing UEFA Champions League License

Konami is not renewing the UEFA Champions League license for its Pro Evolution Soccer series – a license it has had for the last 10 years, and which was one of the few distinguishing licenses that set it apart from rival series FIFA.

The Champions League – a prestigious yearly competition featuring the top European clubs – was playable in PES titles as a separate tournament as well as folded into the Master League career mode. The loss of the license also means that the accompanying Europa League is leaving the series.

Jonas Lygaard, senior director of brand and business development for Konami, didn't elaborate much on Konami's reasoning behind the decision other than saying, "This year, however, we will shift our focus into other areas."

The Champions League was an exclusive license for PES, which lags significantly behind FIFA in its number of official licenses. In recent years, however, Konami has signed non-exclusive license deals with individual clubs such as Barcelona and Liverpool to feature those teams' official kits and stadiums, as well as inked deals with legends of the sport like David Beckham for its MyClub fantasy mode.

Rival FIFA from EA Sports currently has the exclusive World Cup license, but it's unknown at the time of this writing if EA will sign the Champions League license now that Konami has dropped out.

We've contacted both Konami and EA Sports on the matter, and will update this story if we receive any significant information.

 

Our Take 
I fully expect we'll hear about EA's signing of the Champions League license at E3, and it'll will make a great addition to The Journey story mode. As for Konami, I imagine the price of renewal was simply too rich for its blood – especially given the company's shift away from console games, of which PES is one of the few. However, I don't think it will make a big impact for existing PES fans.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 2:32 am

Report: Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 Won't Have A Traditional Single-Player Campaign

Polygon is reporting from multiple sources that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (coming on October 12) will not have a traditional single-player campaign like previous titles. Activision has declined to comment on the report.

The website's sources said that during development it was believed that the single-player could not be completed by the October release date, which itself is a change from the traditional November timeframe for Call of Duty titles.

One source told Polygon that developer Treyarch has since focused on multiplayer and the series' zombie mode, with the belief that co-op in Black Ops 4 could fill in for missing single-player.

Furthermore, Call of Duty website charlieINTEL has heard a rumor that Activision studio Raven Software is working on a battle royale mode for the game to further bolster the game's content.

Activision is revealing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 at a community event on May 17.

[Source: PolygoncharlieINTEL] 

 

Our Take 
Whether you like the series' single-player or not, this isn't a good move by Activision, if true. Beyond just taking a mode away, the company can't be certain that the other content is a sufficient substitute. I also don't like the release date excuse, since it was Activision that decided to move up that date in the first place.

Posted on 18 April 2018 | 9:21 am

Han & Lando Team Up In New Solo TV Spot

Solo: A Star Wars Story is inching closer to its May 25th release, and now that the official full trailer has hit, there are various TV spots also appearing.

SPOILER ALERT: You shouldn't be here if you don't want to be here.

The newest :45 TV spot entitled "Risk," gives more screen time to Han and Chewie's partners in crime Lando, Qui'Ra, and Beckett, and even shows off Han and Lando pairing up in a blaster fight.

For Reiner's analysis of the full trailer, check out his recent Sci-Fi Weekly column.

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Posted on 18 April 2018 | 7:03 am

Action Comics Reaches Issue 1,000 Tomorrow

DC Comics is celebrating a milestone. Tomorrow marks the release of issue 1,000 of Action Comics, a monthly series that has focused primarily on Superman stories. This oversized 80-page issue ships with 10 covers and just as many artists and writers bringing its stories to life. One of the writers is Brian Michael Bendis, a long-time Marvel Comics scribe who jumped ship to DC Comics earlier this year. This is Bendis' first story for DC. He will take over writing duties for Superman on July 11 and Action Comics on July 25.

Other writers and artists include famed DC names like Scott Snyder, Dan Jurgens, Tim Sale, Jim Lee, and Geoff Johns. The variant covers represent a different decade of Action Comics stories, starting with Steve Rude's take on the 1930s.

The stories in this issue range from an unpublished story b Curt Swan to teases of what the future may hold for Superman. You can check out a 10-page sample at DC's site now. The issue will be available digitally and at comic stories starting tomorrow morning. Batman's anniversary is approaching soon with Detective Comics at issue 978.

Posted on 18 April 2018 | 6:16 am

Ubisoft's E3 2018 Press Conference Detailed

Ubisoft has announced details for its E3 2018 press conference where we expect to hear more about upcoming titles like Skull & Bones. The press conference takes place June 11 at 1PM Pacific time.

We expect to stream the event when the time comes, so stay tuned for further details closer to E3. The convention itself runs June 12-14.

[Source: Ubisoft] 

Posted on 18 April 2018 | 5:28 am

Kulve Taroth Elder Dragon Shimmers In Monster Hunter World Update

Monster Hunter World's Spring Blossom Event may be coming to a close, but hot on its heels is a new, terrifying foe. On April 19th, the Siege of Kulve Taroth begins. This new limited-time quest tasks hunters to team up and track down the golden Kulve Taroth Elder Dragon for all the glory and loot.

For this Elder Dragon hunt, Capcom is introducing a Siege quest, which allows more collaboration than ever. Up to 16 hunters can team up in the same Gathering Hub to hunt down the same Kulve Taroth. Hunters will then be split into groups of four to track down this golden monster. As each group of four tracks and damages the Kulve Taroth, they make progress to the Siege for all of the involved hunters. 

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You can find more information about the Siege of Kulve Taroth through Capcom's site. For our thoughts on Monster Hunter World, check out our review.

[Source: Capcom] 

Posted on 18 April 2018 | 4:46 am

NBA Playgrounds 2 Expands With New Modes

Saber Interactive's NBA Playgrounds was a decent first sports title from the independent developer, and the series' follow up looks to expand on the paltry modes of the first.

NBA Playgrounds 2 features a Playgrounds Championship mode with both competitive solo and co-op division ladders, a season mode with the playoffs and a championship, four-player online, and more.

The game comes out for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC sometime in this summer.

The Switch version of the first title needed a separate Enhanced edition because online play couldn't be included with the system, but it should be smooth sailing for the Switch's online play this time around.

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Posted on 18 April 2018 | 3:47 am

Dark Souls: Remastered For Switch Delayed

Bandai Namco has announced that Dark Souls: Remastered is being delayed from its original May 25 release date to an unspecified time that the press release states is "later this summer."

The company says it wants to work some more on the title, and that the Solaire amiibo is also being delayed along with the game.

The PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions of Dark Souls: Remastered are still planned to release on May 25.

[Source: Bandai Namco] 

Posted on 18 April 2018 | 2:32 am

Co-op Castlevania iOS Title Announced In Japan

Konami is working on Castlevania: Grimoire of Shadow for iOS – a four-player co-op title that starts a closed beta in Japan around mid-May.

Gematsu has translated the game's official page, which describes a future in which Dracula has been destroyed. However, protagonist Genya Arikado has received a mysterious letter that warns that the Count will be resurrected.

Up to four-players can work together (the game features different modes), including the ability to resurrect one another, with "an emphasis on pairs." Characters such as Simon, Alucard, Charlotte, Shanoa, and Maria, from previous Castlevania titles are available to play.

The game supports global co-op, so hopefully we'll hear of a localized version soon.

[Source: Konami via Gematsu] 

Posted on 18 April 2018 | 2:16 am

God Of War Soundtrack Gets Early Release On Spotify

The soundtrack for the upcoming God of War is available early on Spotify for people who want a taste of the music before the game's release this Friday.

The music for the game is composed by Bear McCreary, who also composed TV shows Battlestar GalacticaThe Walking Dead,  and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

McCreary gave an interview with PSBlog about composing the soundtrack for the game, saying "As I collaborated with game director Cory Barlog, it became clear that this new game would require wholly new music that did not revisit the memorable scores of the original games, but instead ventured forth into new musical territory. I took my memories of that classic God of War soundtrack – the deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass – and reinvented them for a Norse age. I wrote new themes, and introduced to the music exotic instrumentation and languages from various Northern European folk traditions."

You can go ahead and start listening to the soundtrack now with Spotify.

God of War releases exclusively on PlayStation 4 on April 20. You can read our review of the game, where Joe Juba calls it "one of the best games of this generation," right here.

Posted on 17 April 2018 | 1:33 pm