Twinfinite

SNL Lampoons Prestige Drama With The Last of Us-Style Mario Kart Skit

34 minutes 49 seconds ago

Saturday Night Live wasn’t shy about leaning on the success of HBO’s The Last of Us while Pedro Pascal hosted, with their Mario Kart skit acting as proof.

Shown during the Feb. 4 episode, the skit plays out via a pre-produced trailer for a fake Mario Kart prestige drama. It pulls elements almost one for one from HOB’s The Last of Us, giving everything a grittier, grungier feel to make things appear as bleak and hopeless as possible in the name of a prestige feel.

The skit kicks off with a monologue about how the Mushroom Kingdom has fallen to ruin due to an unexplained catastrophe, and the only means of getting from one place to another is Karts. Mario, played by Pedro Pascal, must transport Princess Peach from one point to another via his Kart, and must enlist the help of characters like Luigi and Toad to assist him.

There are references to both the Mario Kart series and The Last of Us throughout, either through sound effects from the games or characters’ famous catch phrases. at the same time though, there are moments which combine the two franchises and their most famous elements into a new, more dramatic amalgamation. Luigi and Toad are decked out in post-apocalyptic versions of their usual clothes, while Mario is addicted to Mushrooms because they make him “feel big.”

It’s incredibly silly and cringey, but also pretty funny all things considered. It also manages to poke fun at elements of prestige television that would never be applicable to the light-hearted side of video games should they ever get The Last of Us-style HBO adaptations.

It’s well worth giving the skit a look via the official video down below.

Author
Keenan McCall

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New Valorant Oni 2.0 Weapon Skin Bundle Concept Just Shot Straight to the Top of Our Wishlist [UPDATE]

3 hours 59 minutes ago

Some of the most popular Valorant weapon skin bundles of all time have been sequels to already popular designs. There was the Prime 2.0, RGX 2.0, Reaver 2.0, and most recently the awesome Ion 2.0 bundle that saw players throwing money at their screens to get hold of. It’s only a matter of time until we get another one; the question is which. Well, talented VFX artist Vegod is making a pretty damn strong case for the Oni 2.0.

UPDATE 02/05/2023: An Oni 2.0 skin bundle is now reportedly in development, according to dataminer ValorLeaks. There’s no word yet on a release date, but presumably, it’s on the way fairly soon. We’ll keep you posted. Until then, remind yourself how good it might look with Vegod’s mockup featured in this article.

Just check out this kickass trailer, introducing a concept of what the Oni 2.0 might look like and with the vandal as its centerpiece. It’s a design Yoru himself would be proud of, and one we’re keeping our fingers crossed Riot Games takes notice of:

Author
Alex Gibson

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Top 10 Best Anime of February 2023 You Should Watch

1 day ago

The first month of the Winter 2023 anime season has ended, and we now have a clearer look at which series are worth our time. Some have proven to be standouts that flew under the radar before their premieres. Others have failed to impress and fallen victim to the Three Episode rule, while others still have been forced to bow out due to unexpected delays. As a result, our picks for the top 10 best anime of February 2023 you should watch may surprise you.

Author
Keenan McCall

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Destiny 2 Extends Day One Raid for the Second Year in a Row

1 day 2 hours ago

Destiny 2’s next raid is a little over a month away now, and players have been anxiously waiting and preparing for its arrival alongside the Lightfall DLC itself. However, Bungie has just announced that the contest modifier, which is normally on for 24 hours, will now be extended by an additional 24 hours.

This is the second time in Destiny history that a Day One Raid has been extended in some way, shape, or form. Last year, the Vow of the Disciple Raid was extended by an additional 24 hours due to several bugs that arose when the Raid was released. This time around, Bungie is adding an extra 24 hours to contest mode to allow for teams to complete the raid while the mode is active. Completing the raid while the mode is active will reward players with a very exclusive 24-hour emblem that cannot be obtained by other means.

Author
Joe Thomaselli

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“Pick a God and Pray!” Celebrating a Decade of Fire Emblem Awakening

1 day 2 hours ago

It may be hard to believe, but today marks 10 years since Fire Emblem Awakening was released in the U.S. The legend behind its development has been told ad nauseam, to the point where details have become somewhat muddied and embellished. To oversimplify a complex situation, the series had historically underperformed commercially, leading to an expectation that this entry on the 3DS would serve as a swan song.

During a 2015 Iwata Asks interview, then-Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke with staff who had worked on the game, including producer Hitoshi Yamagami.

“To be honest, when we made Awakening, we intended it to be the last in the series,” Yamagami explained. “[Shinji] Hatano-san, who was working as the head of the sales department, he said ‘The Emblem series isn’t making the numbers, so this is going to be the last one.'”

Such a foreboding creed might discourage some, while the team behind Awakening saw it as an opportunity to implement as many mechanics and features as they could possibly fit on the cartridge.

“…the members said ‘This is going to be the last one, so let’s put in everything we want so we don’t have any regrets,'” Yamagami continued. “Then we had a big list of different things, ‘I want to do this’ and ‘I wanna do this,’ and the result was Awakening.”

Author
Tony Cocking

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Riot Says Valorant’s Stinger Is “Over-Performing” & Will Nerf in Patch 6.02

1 day 3 hours ago

Valorant’s cheap SMG has once again begun to dominate the meta, but the Stinger’s strength isn’t long for either Alpha or Omega worlds. Riot Games has confirmed the weapon will be nerfed in Patch 6.02 following its performance tracking over the past few weeks. The development team has concluded it’s “over-performing” and has plans in place to reduce its impact.

The news comes by way of a Tweet late on Friday afternoon:

The following changes will be made to the Stinger for Patch 6.02:

  • Cost increased 950 >>> 1100
  • Damage Fall-off Change: 27 damage per bullet (0 – 15m) 23 damage per bullet (15m+)
  • Previously: 27 damage per bullet (0 – 20m) 25 damage per bullet (20m+)

The changes will mean that force-buying the Stinger, which had become commonplace in professional and ranked play recently, will be less viable. The damage fall-off changes will also make the gun generally less powerful against more expensive weapons, such as the Spectre, Bulldog, Phantom, and Vandal.

Author
Alex Gibson

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G2 ShahZam Says Valorant’s OP Stinger “Is Busted” [UPDATED]

1 day 3 hours ago

Valorant’s cheapest SMG is back in the meta following updates toward the end of last year that not only improved its accuracy but also nerfed the accuracy of the Spectre. The shift in power between these two weapons wasn’t immediately obvious, but it’s now becoming apparent across both professional and ranked play that the Stinger might be a little too powerful. It’s something that pro player and popular streamer ShahZam thinks might need to be looked at by Riot Games.

UPDATE 02/04/2023: Riot Games has announced plans to nerf the Stinger for Patch 6.02. A Tweet from the development team explains that its cost will increase by 150 Credits, and that the Damage Fall Off would increase so that the weapon is less powerful at range.

Original story continues below.

Speaking to his stream following G2’s win over Faze during the opening match of North America’s Challengers, ShahZam said “the Stinger is busted. I don’t care what anybody says, that shit is so ******* bad,” clarifying that he meant it was not a good thing that the Stinger was so absurdly strong.

Video Source: ShahZaM on Twitch

He later explained that after a headshot “you can melt people and they stand no chance,” which he believes thinks that “the Stinger needs a change,” though admitted that he wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like.

The Stinger was buffed back in Patch 5.06 of September last year with the following changes:

Author
Alex Gibson

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Resident Evil 4 Remake Chapter 5 Looks Crazy Different From the Original

1 day 19 hours ago

It seems crazy to say, but March marks the return of Resident Evil 4, Capcom’s survival-horror hit that reinvented the genre. After varying degrees of success in the reimagined editions of of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, fans are patiently holding their breath in anticipation of how many changes will be present in Leon and Ashley’s struggle against the nightmarish cult. 

The latest footage, courtesy of Game Informer, showcases a thirteen-minute walkthrough of the game’s fifth chapter. If there was any doubt that Capcom would make notable changes, the walkthrough completely shatters that in all aspects, as seen through the lenses of a torrential downpour.

The video starts with Leon and Ashley sneaking their way through the church, in an attempt to escape from the crazed fanatics. New enhancements show the conversations with Leon’s handler to be a seamless experience rather than a break in the action, as well as a much more modern take on the in-game map.

From there, the video focuses on other areas of enhancement. Leon is no longer an agent stuck in quicksand, as he can freely run and gun his way out of trouble. Something briefly previewed in previous trailers was the introduction of stealth, but there’s a better focus on it this time around as the player sneaks over to finish off an unsuspecting cultist. Interestingly enough, the commentator mentions they tried to sneak through the area with little success. Perhaps there’s room for this tactic to be viable in future chapters.

Author
John Esposito

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CrossfireX’s Shutdown Brings Another Disastrous Live Service to a Disappointing End

1 day 20 hours ago

Another one bites the dust in a year of live-service shutdowns. Smilegate’s CrossfireX, a game released a little less than a year ago, will end all support by the middle of May and will become little more than a figment of our imaginations.

As of right now, any sales on the Xbox Store have been halted, and no further content will be added to the game. Anyone who made any purchases within the last 14 days (as of Feb. 3) will be eligible to have them refunded, and the servers will go offline on May 18.

This shutdown also affects the Remedy Entertainment-developed campaigns, as they will also be delisted from the Xbox Store completely. Even more interestingly, this official CrossfireX FAQ regarding its shutdown mentions that players will be able to complete the campaigns “until servers close on May 18.” Thus, it appears CrossfireX will cease to exist in its entirety, no matter whether it’s the single-player or multiplayer portion.

The gaming world has been rocked by major live-service shutdowns as of late, with games like Knockout City and Rumbleverse going offline, but CrossfireX’s closure could very well be the biggest misfire of the bunch. It was the first proper American release in the Crossfire franchise, a series that has dominated Asian countries to the tune of one billion lifetime players.

Author
Matt Anderson

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Dead Space Remake’s Success Emphasizes The Callisto Protocol’s Failure

1 day 20 hours ago

Motive Studio’s remake of Dead Space has been out for a little over a week, and to little surprise, it’s doing numbers in the industry. Our review of it was stellar, as Motive successfully managed to faithfully recreate the survival-horror sensation that swept the nation back in 2008 while carefully adjusting bits and pieces to make it a complete experience.

After years of the “true remake” debate, the Dead Space Remake has given a solid definition of what a remake should look like moving forward. I’ve been pretty vocal about Dead Space to anyone who will listen or read about it as someone who’s been dying to see the remake mill start spinning again (I’m looking at you, Sony).

My playthrough has been overwhelmingly positive for the reasons I listed above, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from Motive Studio, whether it be Iron Man and/or Dead Space 2. Yet, aside from scarring me as much as it did when I played all those years ago at 5 am before school, my time aboard the Ishimura has left me in an odd state of remorse.

Seeing Dead Space so carefully reforged has me focused on that other survival-horror game that launched nearly two months ago: The Callisto Protocol.

Author
John Esposito

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6 MCU Phase 5 Rumors, Ranked by the Likelihood of Them Happening

1 day 22 hours ago

February 2023 is a big month for the MCU as it is when Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the first project of Phase 5, releases. Given that this is a comic book franchise, there are rumors swirling around involving many Phase 5 projects beyond even the third Ant-Man installment.

Of course, given the sheer volume of rumors, most end up being just hopes and speculation, though there are definitely the rumors that slip through the crack and turn out to be true. That being said, let’s take a look at six of the more prominent MCU Phase 5 rumors that have some credibility behind them and if they may, in fact, become a reality.

Warning: Possible spoiler alert below. Some, if not all, of these rumors, may be true, which would mean that these are spoilers, so keep that in mind before proceeding.

Author
Joel Tapia

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Season 2 of CoD: DMZ Will Lock Content Behind a Paywall, and Players Are Not Happy

1 day 22 hours ago

The second season of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 saw an unfortunate delay, as mounting tension in the community sparked developer Infinity Ward to rethink its approach to both titles. The second season is set to launch on Feb. 15, headlined by the Resurgence Mode making a return with an all-new map, Ashika Island.

The road ahead is a long one, and over the past few weeks, Infinity Ward has detailed what lies ahead in the form of smaller blog posts. One post, in particular, caught the ire of DMZ players who enjoy the new extraction-based mode, as the new season will lock certain content behind a paywall by forcing players to purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

According to the blog post:

“Modern Warfare® II owners will also have access to mission orders from a brand new fourth faction, Crown. This British group is shrouded in mystery, but they have certainly piqued the interest of Black Mous….

Again, this Faction will only be available to Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® II owners.”

The content in question involves the extraction mode’s factions, in particular, the brand-new faction called the Crown. Currently, there are three factions, but with the new faction joining, players who do not own the full game will not be able to access the faction’s missions or the benefits that come with completing them.

Author
John Esposito

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Hi-Fi Rush Is a Music-Lover’s Dream Come True

1 day 23 hours ago

It could be said that music holds the ability to ignite the human spirit. It transcends language boundaries, connecting people to one another and inspiring many. Often, a suitable song can serve as a motivating force, helping to overcome mental adversity and achieve seemingly impossible goals. Moreover, with an uplifting beat or the calming sounds of a symphony, music can unlock our inner potential and propel us forward — wherever forward may be.

This is exactly what makes the latest rhythm-action entry from Tango Gameworks and Bethesda, Hi-Fi Rush, so unique. It is a music lover’s dream. This game combines the best elements of two worlds: the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a fast-paced action experience and the power of music.

The story follows the life of Chai, a self-proclaimed future rock star who gains a robotic arm and the ability to sense the world’s rhythm after becoming a defect in an evil corporate experiment. Chai and his friends use this power to face off against the conglomerate responsible for the experiments and its leaders. Throughout the story, you will utilize the help of each and every one of your unlikely friends to accomplish your goals and topple the villains who stand in your way.

Author
Zack Hermenau

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Some Hogwarts Legacy Players Have Magically Already Received Their Copies

1 day 23 hours ago

Harry Potter fans are highly anticipating next Friday, as it means they’ll finally be able to get their hands on the newest game in the franchise, Hogwarts Legacy. However, some lucky magicians are already working on their magic spells, as it seems some copies have already arrived.

On the game’s official subreddit, a German player has shared the fact that he received and was able to start playing an Xbox Series X version of the game a week before it even came out.

He’s not the only one who already has his copy of the game, generating some envy among players who are still waiting for it. The lucky Harry Potter fans who have already played the game are giving it rave reviews, especially about the graphics and the fantastic cutscenes. They also praise the character’s facial animations, the game’s map, and the game’s classes.

Author
Rafa Boladeras

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Valorant Interview: Dev Talks How & Why Skins are Made; Future Sequel Bundles, & Life at Riot Games

2 days ago

Even those who cringe at the thought of shelling out hard-earned money for often exorbitantly priced in-game cosmetics can surely appreciate Valorant’s incredible weapon skins. They’ve arguably set the high standard for design in an FPS. Clearly, there’s a huge amount of work that goes into the concept, artwork, and sound effects that have created some of the coolest and most elaborate weapons seen over the past two years.

At this point, it’s obvious that when it comes to designing new Valorant skins, Riot Games’ art team is a well-oiled machine that knows the key to success. It’s become such a popular feature of the game that I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to speak with VFX artist Nicolas Ceriani, who has come through Riot Games’ internship program to work on some of Valorant’s most popular skins ever.

Senior editor Alex Gibson: Breaking into the games industry in any capacity as a developer is tricky; how does Riot Games differ in its approach to providing opportunities to those who don’t have the prerequisite experience to get involved — which is so often a hurdle for aspiring young graduates?

VFX artist Nicolas Ceriani: I feel like Riot’s internship program is such a valuable system, both for young students facing the challenge of having to secure a job, and for companies in need of talent. Anyone is welcome to apply – the requirements for the type of education, duration of education, and experience are broad enough to encourage a large range of individuals to apply. I was especially excited about the fact that I was able to apply as a European student, which is not always the case for some US-based companies. 

Author
Alex Gibson

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The Last of Us Part I PC Slightly Delayed to Make Sure It “Lives Up to Standards”

2 days ago

Naughty Dog has just revealed that it will be delaying The Last of Us Part I PC port to ensure that it is up to the high standards that it has set and that fans expect from the series. The news came by way of a tweet earlier today, which fully detailed the slight delay and the reasoning.

When Does The Last of Us Part I Come Out on PC

While it was originally set to hit PC on March 3, 2023, The Last of Us Part I PC has been pushed back until March 28, 2023. According to the team, these few weeks will allow them to polish up certain parts of the game to avoid any bugs or errors upon release.

Over the past few years, PC releases have become more prominent for PlayStation-exclusive titles, and it seems that Sony has put a heavy emphasis on releasing the best port possible for these games, as seen with titles like Death Stranding and Uncharted.

Author
Andrew McMahon

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Bella Ramsey Has Seen a The Last of Us Part II Edit & Gives Her Take on Playing the Role

2 days 1 hour ago

HBO’s The Last of Us series is being hailed as one of the best video game adaptations ever, but there are lots of stories still left to tell, and as most will know it’s headed in a pretty grim direction. But despite everything that’s in store for Elli, Bella Ramsey isn’t worried. On the contrary, she’s pumped to explore the character’s evolution and one relationship in particular.

Looking ahead into the future, Bella Ramsey told Josh Horowitz on his Happy Sad Confused podcast:

“I’m really excited for the Ellie & Dina story. I’ve watched an edit someone has put together. I’m excited to play that out.”

Although audiences are just watching the beginning of Ellie’s story, the actress is already thinking ahead, as the character of Dina doesn’t appear until The Last of Us Part II, meaning fans won’t meet Dina until the show’s season two. Both games have many unique characters TV audiences still have to meet and see their real-life actors play, people like Abby, Dina, or Jesse. If the writers do have as good a job as they did with Tess or Frank, fans will be very happy. You can check out the full podcast episode below.

Author
Rafa Boladeras

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GTA Online’s First Dose Hard Mode Pays Huge Dividends This Coming Week

2 days 1 hour ago

GTA Online players are getting a boatload of new features in this week’s latest update, as Rockstar Games revealed that the Los Santos Drug Wars is in full swing. Specifically, demand for the newest product has Acid Lab Sell Missions and Acid Lab Resupply Missions yielding way more than they usually do.

Alongside this, The First Dose Hard Mode event is set to conclude, and boy, does it have some solid incentives. Here is everything you need to know about what this coming in the update.

Author
Andrew McMahon

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These Cancelled Titanfall Sequel Details Will Ruin Your Friday

2 days 2 hours ago

While the battle royale craze continues to fight for dominance, it appears that one of the major players in the genre has been hit with a bit of a losing streak. Case in point: EA and Respawn Entertainment recently announced that their popular battle royale Apex Legends underperformed last quarter and failed to meet internal expectations. Adding insult to injury, Apex Legends Mobile was canceled after only one year after its initial launch, and a secret single-player Titanfall game was shelved before it could even see the light of day.

In short, it’s not the best time to be a fan of Respawn’s kinetic first-person shooter series. But what makes things even worse is that we now have, thanks to Giant Bomb alum Jeff Grubb, a handful of deets all about this unrevealed shoot-’em-up. Grab your tissues, folks, and get ready to press X to pay respects.

So, firstly, the canceled Titanfall game was purportedly going to be a mash-up of Titanfall and Apex Legends. Ostensibly, it would’ve been a single-player campaign integrated into the Apex Legends formula in a seemingly seamless way. Furthermore, everyone’s favorite Vanguard-class titan BT-7274 was going to show up, along with a handful of other renowned characters in the beloved sci-fi shooter series.

Author
Dylan Chaundy

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Isaac Clarke Needs to Contact His Union Rep in Dead Space Remake

2 days 2 hours ago

At its core, the point of a gaming experience is for you to complete tasks or challenges for your enjoyment. Predominantly, this will see you take the role of the protagonist, bearing the lion’s share of the workload; such is true for Leon Kennedy’s solo extraction mission in rural Spain, as it is in Choo-Choo Charles, where you fight an evil train with your regular train before it can make train babies. Horror games are kind of weird, I will admit.

The consistent factor behind the above examples is that this is clearly your objective to complete. You may interact with other people along the way, either remotely or directly, but the understanding is that it’s all up to you, hero. Sagacious as you are, even you get lonely here sometimes.

When Dead Space first premiered in 2008, it surrounded the main character, Isaac Clarke, with crewmembers that included his commanding officer and a computer specialist. As with any team, this gives the impression that everyone has their own skillset, and their own burdens to bear on this dangerous rescue assignment.

Author
Tony Cocking

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Xbox 360 Marketplace To Be Closed Over the Next Year [UPDATE]

2 days 5 hours ago

UPDATE 02/03/23: Microsoft has told IGN that yesterday’s announcement that the Xbox 360 Marketplace would close later this year was posted in error. A spokesperson said:

“This message was posted in error and we can confirm the Xbox 360 marketplace will not close in May 2023. As a reminder, beginning on February 7, 2023, a limited set of games, add-ons, and in-game content will no longer be purchasable in select markets via the Xbox 360 Store.”

Original article continues below.

The end of an era seems to be upon us. Xbox has announced through the Xbox Support page that the Xbox 360 Marketplace will be closed down sometime within the next year. The website encourages players to purchase any Xbox 360 games and DLC by May 2023, which is presumably around the time the store will begin the closure process.

This news comes in the wake of Xbox’s announcement that about 46 games will be de-listed from the Xbox 360 Marketplace on Feb. 7. This list includes titles like Dark Souls, Left for Dead 2, Mass Effect 2, and more.

While these titles will be removed, Xbox will allow players to redownload games if they are already on their console. These moves will only pertain to purchasing games for the first time. This will also not affect the Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S Marketplaces; games that are playable on these consoles through the backward compatibility program will still be available through purchase through those respective digital storefronts.

Author
Matt Anderson

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Netflix’s New Anime Sparks Controversy For Using AI-Generated Artwork & Backgrounds

2 days 12 hours ago

Titled The Dog and the Boy, Netflix’s new animated short film was made by WIT Studio, and the Netflix Japan Twitter account recently tweeted out that the art and background used in the film were AI-generated. It didn’t take long for the backlash to start, especially when you consider that image generation AI has been a huge source of controversy as it’s generally regarded as unethical among animators and artists.

The tweet in question states: “As an experimental effort to help the anime industry, which has a labor shortage, we used image generation technology for the background images of all three-minute video cuts!”

The irony here is that the animation industry has long been plagued with issues like low pay, high stress, long working hours, combined with high demand, resulting in lots of burnout among artists. The tweet from Netflix Japan comes off as a little tone-deaf as a result, as the issue isn’t necessarily the labor shortage itself, as it is the subpar working conditions in general.

Author
Zhiqing Wan

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Knockout City Servers to Shut Down this Summer

2 days 14 hours ago

Released back in May of 2021, Knockout City is an action game that allowed players to beat each other up in an epic, high-octane game of fast-paced dodgeball. There were tons of levels and different kinds of balls and weapons to check out, making this one of the more unique multiplayer games we’d seen in recent years.

Just today, developer Velan Studios announced that Season 9 would be Knockout City’s final season, and that service would end on June 6. However, the developers will be releasing a private server version of the game on PC, where players can still enjoy the game via custom games with friends. So while the hosted servers are shutting down, you’ll still be able to play it within your own circles.

Author
Zhiqing Wan

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Dwarf Fortress’ Developers Have Finally (Financially) Struck Gold

2 days 17 hours ago

The latest Bay 12 Games financial report has shown a stunning uptick in revenue, with January’s takings eclipsing $7 million. Under the guise of Toady One, Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams revealed the good news.

“A little less than half will go to taxes, and we’re continuing to pay people and new business expenses and such,” Adams explained in the forum post. “So it’s not all personal money, but a lot of it is, enough that we’ve solved the main issues of health/retirement that are troubling for independent people, as well as safeguarded the future of the game well enough that we felt comfortable bringing [community member turned programmer] Putnam on to work with the full code and so forth.”

The final tally for the month, $7,230,123.58, doesn’t just dwarf the previous four-month average of a little under $15,000 (if you’ll pardon the pun); it is literally over 120 times the amount of September to December combined.

The cause for this, of course, would be December’s rollout of Dwarf Fortress 1.0. The management sim has been in development in some form or another since the early 2000s, before it was announced that it would be arriving on Steam with updated graphics and quality-of-life improvements. The response to what was already a solid foundation was positive — in our review, we awarded it a score of 4.5 out of 5 — and yet few could have foreseen the kind of groundswell it has created.

Author
Tony Cocking

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Netflix’s Squid Game Reality Show Is the Most Meta Disaster Ever

2 days 18 hours ago

Netflix’s survival drama series, Squid Game, swept the nation when it was released on the streaming service almost two years ago, focusing on the plight of 456 players looking to rid themselves of financial struggle by playing a set of deadly children’s games. The show performed exceptionally well, earning accolades left and right, and saw a renewal for a second season

Looking to capitalize on it even more, Netflix blew the whistle to get a reality show going, where real people would participate for a chance at winning big. Squid Game: The Challenge is currently in development, and to no one’s surprise, it turns out that being in a reality tv show based on a rigged game is not the dream many were hoping for.

As reported by Vice, it seems that many of the contestants are miserable and in the process of questioning the authenticity of this spin-off. Squid Game: The Challenge is shooting in England, with the weather less than agreeable this time of year. During the filming of “Red Light, Green Light”, contestants started to feel unwell during freezing temperatures, although many tried to push through it for a shot at the large cash prize. 

Author
John Esposito

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The Day Before Might be Real, But Its Latest Gameplay Trailer Looks like a Fortnite Mod

2 days 19 hours ago

If there’s one game that’s had a rough go in the past few years, it’s The Day Before. Since its reveal, Fntastic’s zombie MMO survival title saw a rise to the top of the Steam wishlist charts, to an infinite cycle of delays, and then on the receiving end of a barrage of fan questioning as to whether or not it’s a real game

It seems like Fntastic has heard the criticism or realized the questioning was starting to mount and has risen from the hordes with a brand new gameplay trailer featuring crafting and zombie survival. 

In a 10-minute trailer, the player starts with a brisk run through the suburbs before hitting up a crafting station. From there, fans get a look at The Day Before’s modest selection of crafting as the player combines a few items to make parts for their Deprov-74, with the final product boasting a suppressor and ACOG sight for some zombie slaying.

Author
John Esposito

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The Last of Us’ Success Makes The Witcher’s Failure Hurt Even More

2 days 19 hours ago

Historically, video game movie adaptations have by and large had a very bad stigma attached to them. Whether it was ill-timed release dates, overtly cringy dialogue, or just cheesy dialogue effects, the realm of movies that were “so bad it’s good” was notorious for this specific subgenre of action movies.

Of course, a lot of this was due to being a product of technology and what was available at the time (I’m looking at you Super Mario Bros.). The stigma has led to many fans letting out deep sighs whenever the mere premise of a game adaptation was brought up. 

Author
Sam Gambitsky

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FIFA 23 Title Update 7 Tackles Transfer Market Bug & Newest Glitches

2 days 20 hours ago

The latest Title Update for FIFA 23 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC has arrived courtesy of EA Sports, and there are a handful of gameplay tweaks to sift through — including one big one — as well as a couple of fixes that were often requested by the FIFA community.

For starters, FUT has addressed the bug that kept causing Transfer Market search filters to reset after every search regardless of whether or not the player reset them. While this didn’t seem to be an issue on the Companion App, the same couldn’t be said for the platforms themselves.

Staying in the Transfer Market, incorrect player item displays were fixed as well.

Author
Shaun Ranft

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Valorant Artist Says “a Ton of Skins” are Worked on at Once, With “Playtests Every week”

2 days 22 hours ago

Valorant has pushed the boundaries of in-game cosmetics by producing some of the most elaborate and impressive weapon skins ever seen in an FPS. To produce so many skins all the time, Riot Games In a recent interview conducted by Twinfinite, VFX artist Nicolas Ceriani explained just what a well-oiled machine the development team working on Valorant skins at Riot Games is.

When asked about how designs are conceptualized, and how many new Valorant skins are being made at any one time, here’s what he said:

“…there are a ton of skins being worked on at the same time, all at different stages. While an animator is giving life to Skin A, a Sound Designer is working on Skin B, and a VFX Artist is perfecting performances on Skin C. It’s also not uncommon to jump between a few tasks on different skinlines depending on priorities. When it comes to brainstorming phases, we have pitch sessions where we bring the team together to explore a bunch of ideas, form teams, and push some concepts a bit.

As we’ve cited in another recent article, Ceriani also explained that the team has “playtest sessions every week fully dedicated to testing new skins.” Although he was tight-lipped when it came to the actual details of any new Valorant skin bundle designs, he left the door open to more of the sequel bundles we’ve seen so much of recently, such as the Reaver and Ion 2.0:

There are skins that we love, players love and meet these criteria, so when the stars align like this, sure, why not? Obviously, I cannot disclose any details on what we’re working on, but we’ve already done it a couple of times already, so we could do it again in the future.

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Alex Gibson

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Wild Hearts’ Executive Producer Details Post-Launch Content & Microtransactions

2 days 22 hours ago

The Wild Hearts release date is not far off, which means the juicy details are finally being revealed. The game’s Executive Producer, Lewis Harvey, took to Reddit for an AMA about all things Wild Hearts. In between all the questions about the Kemono creatures, Harvey answered a question all about what sort of monetization players can expect.

Reddit user Grand_Fun8174 asked, “I suppose one of the biggest questions outta the gate is what should we expect for the game’s monetization? Will there be microtransactions? If so what kind of items will be for sale?” As things have been faltering recently regarding live-service games, this is a reasonable concern.

Lewis Harvey took this opportunity to reveal that “all post-launch content will be free, including new Kemono and more! We don’t have any plans to feature MTX.” This certainly means big things ahead for Wild Hearts, as it suggests EA is confident that the game will be a huge hit.

Considering that EA is positioning Wild Hearts as the ultimate Monster Hunter killer, going this route only makes sense. Main competitor Monster Hunter Rise has sold weapon packs and an expansion, so announcing that Wild Hearts to give content away at no extra cost is a bold move to steal focus.

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Cameron Waldrop

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It’s a Boi! Free Sims 4 Update Adds Gender-Affirming Scars & Shapewear

2 days 22 hours ago

When EA scheduled the latest Behind the Sims Summit to line up with a patch release, the Sims Community rumor mill started buzzing. The last BTS Summit dropped the news that a new life stage – Infants – would soon be coming to the Sims 4, and many Simmers hoped that this post-livestream update would be it.

And while we only got a due date for the arrival of Sims 4 Infants, this update did add something pretty epic – top surgery scars – making yet another huge leap forward in terms of diversity, both in The Sims and in the entire gaming industry.

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Juniper Finch

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Why Doesn’t Destiny 2 Stasis Have a Proper Frag Grenade?

2 days 23 hours ago

The Lightfall DLC is about to arrive in Destiny 2, and with it comes a brand new Darkness subclass, Strand. From the trailers and gameplay we’ve seen thus far, Strand looks to be very powerful and a lot of fun. However, that can’t be said for the first Darkness subclass we received over two years ago, Stasis.

Stasis has been in a slump with an abundance of nerfs for quite some time now, and one keen fan pointed out on Reddit that the Stasis subclass doesn’t have a proper Frag Grenade ability.

This raises many questions, but the most important one is why doesn’t it have more Grenades. Over the last year, we’ve seen all of the Light subclasses undergo major revamps, which are now top-tier choices in every activity in the game. Stasis, however, has been continually nerfed since its release during the Beyond Light DLC. While most of the nerfs were justified, considering Stasis’s strength at that time, it’s time to give the subclass some life again.

Author
Joe Thomaselli

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The Sims 4 New Growing Together Expansion Pack Gets Release Date, Official Trailer & More

2 days 23 hours ago

After various teases in the Behind The Sims Summit and the game’s official Twitter account, The Sims 4 Growing Together expansion pack has finally received a release date and trailer filled with family memories.

The franchise has always been about creating legacies and the adventures you take along the way. And now, Growing Together will further this aspect with exciting new content, such as the San Sequoia world, diverse family social interactions, and fashionable items.

When Does The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack Come Out?

The Sims 4 Growing Together releases on March 16, 2023. Those who want to earn bonus rewards can pre-order the expansion pack by April 27 to claim the following items:

Author
Kristina Ebanez

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The Witcher Author’s Opinion on Netflix’s Show Is Amusingly Vague

3 days ago

Writer Andrzej Sapkowski was recently at the Taipei International Book Exhibition, where he was quizzed by Polish publication Dzieje about both his future plans with the book series and his thoughts on Netflix’s hugely popular but divisive adaptation. His response to both questions was typically vague, but it’s the response to the latter which is likely to draw a chuckle or two from fans.

Sapkowski kept it very brief, explaining that “I’ve seen better. I’ve seen worse.”

His non-answer is rather typical of his usual responses to such questions, but it must be said that it’s much less enthusiastic than the ones he gave when the show started. Has he changed his tune since the divisive response to Henry Cavil’s big exit and the departure from the source material that many fans have questioned? Perhaps.

Be it because he’s iffy on the Netflix adaptation or because he still has some adventures in mind for this universe, what looks certain is that Sapkowski’s relationship with Geralt of Rivia still has some chapters to tell. Indeed, Sapkowski released his last book in The Witcher saga, Season of Storms, ten years ago, and you’d have to go back another decade since The Witcher saga officially ended with The Lady of the Lake. All that has led many to wonder whether there are any more stories in the pipeline, but there’s good news on that front.

The author plans for future Witcher books. His when questioned on the matter was short and to the point: “They are in the plans.”

Author
Rafa Boladeras

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The 14 Best Super Bowl Party Ideas & Snacks

3 days 1 hour ago

Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, with Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs set to go head-to-head with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team he coached for well over a decade prior to landing in KC. Intriguing, right? Drama at its finest, it could be said. The story writes itself, and so on.

More importantly though, at least for anyone who isn’t invested in these teams or perhaps even the NFL, it’s Super Bowl Sunday — a time-honored tradition that allows folks to gather in large numbers, kick back, talk about how ham-fisted or eyeroll-inducing all of the commercials are (nostalgia forever, baby!), and stuff their faces full of anything they can get their hands on.

Sure, you don’t need the excuse of the Super Bowl to do that, but why not use it as one anyway? Whether you feel like whipping something up from scratch, ordering in, or simply sticking to the always reliable chips, dips, and appetizers, it’s time to get your Super Bowl Party snack list in order. The options are endless, yet there is plenty to keep in mind.

Prior to putting the cart before the horse, make certain you’ve picked the right spot for this food-fueled gathering.

Author
Shaun Ranft

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10 Games with S-Tier Photo Modes

3 days 1 hour ago

Gaming is for everyone. Every player has a unique style of playing, and a unique way of expressing their gameplay experience. One of the features that unites people across the board is the ability to take and customize screenshots in-game. Whether you are playing a game to unwind, to delve deeper into a good story, or to simply engage in some healthy virtual combat, screenshots can provide the ability to share your favorite moments with friends. We have gone ahead and compiled a list of what we think are the 10 best game photo modes out there. These are not in any particular order, and they do span a variety of genres to fit different playstyles while also

From the cowboys to the catgirls, let’s jump into our favorite 10 games with S-Tier photo modes.

Author
Anna Koselke

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A Mind-Meltingly Clever Cult Classic Is Being Celebrated By Horror Fans

3 days 2 hours ago

There are plenty of really clever horror movies that pull the rug from under you, and completely change how you perceive the story on a second or third viewing. Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island instantly springs to mind, as well as the entire body of M. Night Shyamalan’s work, though his quality can arguably be a little hit or miss. One that jumps straight into our heads, though, is 2012’s satirical postmodern horror hit, The Cabin in the Woods.

Helmed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, and written and produced by the mind behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods is an incredibly astute deconstruction of horror movie tropes with an incredibly creative central driving mystery. Don’t worry, if you’ve not seen it yet, there’ll be no major spoilers here!

In broad strokes, The Cabin in the Woods’ narrative revolves around a handful of friends who decide to take a trip to the titular home away from home for a fun-packed vacay. From here, things get a lot stranger, a lot creepier, and a lot funnier, too. One thing I will say with confidence is: You’ll probably never guess what’ll happen in this one.

But why are we bringing this cult classic up right now? Well, over on a recent Reddit thread, horror fans are absolutely giddy as they relive the highs of such an intelligent feature, which boasts some of the most smartly executed twists and turns in the entirety of horror cinema.

Author
Dylan Chaundy

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Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night Has an Inescapable Flaw Holding It Back

3 days 2 hours ago

For the most part, the Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night film is everything it needed to be.

Continuing the retelling of the plot of the series’ first cour from the perspective of Asuna, the movie offers a new perspective on the premise that kicked off one of the biggest anime series in the past decade. Not only that, but it does so with fresh new ideas and storylines, most all of which allow the series’ female lead to play a bigger role in certain events while also expanding upon her relationship with the new original character Mito.

Adding to these elements are some exemplary moments of Sakuga and a general level of animation quality that puts the standard series to shame. It makes the movies’ battles stand out as truly stunning feats of animated combat, while also helping to sell the beauty of the series’ first fantasy setting exceptionally well.

And yet, it’s hard not to walk away from the second film in the Progressive series and feel a little disappointed. While it still has the strengths listed above, the elements related to the story and narrative lose some of their staying power compared to the first film. This isn’t due to the plot wearing thin, or even to the new content created specifically for the films falling flat.

Instead, it’s due to a major issue that the films were bound to run into, and which they come up against hard in Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night. That issue is simple: Even when Asuna acts as the protagonist, the story always falls back on having Kirito play the hero.

Author
Keenan McCall

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Valorant’s NA Challengers Viewership Blew Up on Day 1 & Looks Set Prove Esports’ Hottest Tier 2 Scene

3 days 2 hours ago

Valorant’s 2023 esports season is off to a flying start with exceptional viewership, and we haven’t even seen its franchised teams play yet. Last night saw the kick-off of North America’s Challengers series, a regional Tier 2 scene that features plenty of big orgs and players but isn’t expected to draw anywhere near the same levels of interest as the games between Riot-partnered teams later this year. From the numbers I saw last night, that expectation has been blown out of the water.

Official stats are a little tricky to pull as escharts hasn’t yet updated its figures for the event, but TwitchTracker has peak Valorant Twitch viewership last night well above average. Over 280,000 people were watching streamers either play or watch the game during the G2 vs. Faze and The Guard vs. DSG matches. Not all of them were tuned into those matches specifically, of course, but the spike is indicative of the generally high level of interest.

Watch parties from Tark, Disguised, Sinatraa, Shahzam, and other popular Valorant streamers/professional players drove viewership, with concurrent viewership between the four of them over 100,000 at times. The Knights Arena channel was averaging around 10,000 viewers for the games — small by comparison but actually still quite impressive for a Tier 2 competition.

Author
Alex Gibson

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Hi-Fi Rush Had an Internal Cult Following at Bethesda Before It Was Even Pitched

3 days 7 hours ago

Hi-Fi Rush is the new hotness that everyone’s been talking about over this past week. It was surprise released last week, unveiled as a new rhythm action game from Tango Gameworks, best known for releasing The Evil Within and 2022’s Ghostwire Tokyo. Hi-Fi Rush was definitely a huge surprise drop, and it’s already getting tons of praise for its innovative mechanics.

Game creator and director John Johanas spoke with MinnMax in an interview this week to talk about the origins of the game and the pitching process, which you can check out in its entirety down below.

Johanas mentioned that he when coming up with the core concept, he wanted to create a rhythm action game that was both accessible and felt good to play. He brought up comparisons to indie darling Crypt of the Necrodancer, a game that was all about moving and attacking to the beat, but also mentioned how the game would punish you if you weren’t able to actually stick to the beat.

Hi-Fi Rush is different in a key way: when you attack, your hits will always land on the beat. You’ll be rewarded for properly timing your hits of course, but the point was that the game would feel good and satisfying to play no matter what.

Author
Zhiqing Wan

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