Thursday, September 21, 2017

News:: The Morning After: Thursday, September 21st 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to Thursday. Apple's new Watch Series 3 has a tiny LTE connectivity issue -- something the company says it will fix in an update, but good luck to those with a pre-order. Google, as rumored, is buying HTC's Pixel team, and, well, half the latter's R&D contingent, too.



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News:: 'Rainbow Six Seige' update could make your PS4 crash

With more than 20 million players, it's safe to say that Rainbow Six Siege is still going strong. But, a new console crashing bug could put a damper on the good times for fans of the tactical shooter. At least on PS4, anyway. Gamers have been tweeting about the issue since the release of the title's latest patch, and Ubisoft has confirmed it is looking into it. For the time being, though, it doesn't have a fix. "Players have reported a crashing issue regarding the party invitation. We are cooperating with Sony on this issue and would advise you to not use this feature until a resolution is found," the developer said in a statement on its support site.

Source: Ubisoft



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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

News:: Soon you can get physical with Shantae (Half-Genie Hero) on Switch

Gaming's official belly dancer, Shantae, has made quite the name for herself over the last decade. Beginning as a late era Gameboy Color title, the series has spawned several sequels on various platforms and garnered a cult following. The latest game in the series, Half-Genie Hero, actually wound up seeing a physical release on the Wii U, of all consoles, so it comes as no surprise that the Switch would be receiving the same thing.

If you've held out, then your time has come. XSEED Games has announced that Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition will be heading to retail outlets soon. Included with this package will be the expansion, Pirate Queen's Quest, and a couple of extras in the form of "Costume Mode" and "Friend's Mode". While those last two seem like superfluous extras, bonus goodies is always appreciated.

There isn't any pricing mentioned, but I can't see it being more than $30. You can nab the download for $20 from the eShop and I doubt the Switch tax will account for a dramatic increase in price.

XSEED Games [Twitter]

Soon you can get physical with Shantae (Half-Genie Hero) on Switch screenshot



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News:: STRAFE is getting a massive update with extra content

Say what you will about the hugely divisive STRAFE, but I thought the game was a total blast. It certainly can be obtuse and definitely isn't an old-school shooter, but developer Pixel Titan's take on on first-person Spelunky was a challenging and rewarding experience for players willing to put up with its flaws. Not wishing to rest on their laurels, Pixel Titans have dedicated their time to ironing out all of the kinks and are releasing a free update for STRAFE to address people's concerns.

Titled STRAFE: Millennium Edition, the update will be bringing a host of changes to the core experience that should bring the game more in line with something like Rogue Legacy instead of Spelunky. Yes, the biggest change will be persistent unlocks for your multiple runs, giving players a tangible goal and hopefully the ability to decrease the difficulty of subsequent runs.

You'll also have the ability to save your runs if you need to take a break. You'll only be able to load this save once, but beating a campaign of STRAFE only takes around two hours, so one save isn't so bad (and doesn't diminish the roguelike atmosphere that Pixel Titans crafted).

STRAFE is getting a massive update with extra content screenshot

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News:: Low-poly space adventure Morphite is out now on multiple platforms

Morphite looks really similar to No Man's Sky at first glance, but it seems to have enough key differences to set it apart, including '80s movie references and animals that look more like actual animals than the creatures No Man's Sky generates.

Its story follows Myrah Kale, a space station worker who's looking for a mythical substance called Morphite to discover how it connects to her mysterious past. The worlds she visits on her quest are painstakingly handcrafted, while procedurally-generated worlds offer side missions and discovery. 

Real-time combat -- on the ground and in space -- is balanced with platforming and exploration. Myrah will meet fellow explorers willing to trade resources, and she can sell information she gains from her travels in exchange for ship, suit, and weapon upgrades.

Low-poly space adventure Morphite is out now on multiple platforms screenshot

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News:: Battlerite will exit Early Access and go free-to-play this November

Stunlock Studios has found plenty of success on Steam Early Access with its arena brawler Battlerite, and before long, it'll be time for the full launch. It's set for November 8, 2017. In this specific case, exiting Early Access will also mean transitioning from a paid game to a free-to-play release.

Why buy now if it'll just be free later? "By purchasing Early Access, you are granted instant-access to the game, all champions, and all future champions as well as a unique founder avatar and title," according to Battlerite's Steam Early Access page. "This bundle will not be available at launch. It's likely that the same amount of content will cost more once the game is released."

The studio has also shared its roadmap. New champions and modes are unsurprisingly in the works, and beyond that, we're looking at a refresh of the user interface, an overhaul of battlerites (you'll select your loadout before the match and all rites will be active from the start), and holiday events.

In the more immediate future, Battlerite will hold a "free week" from September 25 through October 1, with a separate promotion knocking the full version down half price to ten bucks.

I've been slow to give this game a chance despite being intrigued by the concept of MOBA-like team fights without any extraneous stuff. Having it out of Early Access will do a lot to raise my interest.

A New Era [Battlerite]

Battlerite will exit Early Access and go free-to-play this November screenshot



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News:: Schooled: Video games gave me my career

[Believe it or not, I’m actually a full-time student myself. After growing old and lazy over the course of many years, I decided it was time for a change. Honestly, it was the smartest decision I’ve made in a long time. In a strange twist of fate, I found myself promoted to a position where I could write for Destructoid shortly after that too! It was almost like the universe was rewarding me for making the right choice haha…. Needless to say, I can relate to Absolutefreak’s words here on a somewhat personal level. Also, we're both bald, so he's got that going for him too!

In other news, it’s still not too late to take a stab at this month's Bloggers Wanted prompt. There’s more than a week left before you’ve officially disappointed me, so get to it! – Kevin]

As you're most likely already aware, video games are a fantastic way to relax, spend some time with friends, or scratch that competitive itch you might have. Games have done all this for me, but they've indirectly given me a far greater gift: the ability to make a living. Using computers to play games led me to getting deeper involved with them, and now I work in the IT field today.

It all truly began when I was around seven years old. At that point, I had been into games for years with the Atari 2600 we had and had played some NES at my neighbor's house. One day my dad brought home a Commodore 64 and a Ghostbusters game for it. I learned the process of loading and running software and played this and several other games that I got a hold of. (Bonus points to anyone who has heard of Skate Rock or Corom!) All in all, it was an incredibly basic introduction to computers, but it got me interested.

Schooled: Video games gave me my career screenshot

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News:: Project CARS studio seems to have a six-year deal to make Fast and the Furious games

With the impending release of Project CARS 2, developer Slightly Mad Studios has firmly staked its claim in the simulation racing market. It seems ready to branch out a bit though, as a recent quote from a company higher-up indicates that it's soon targeting the less-serious type of racer.

As Eurogamer reports (and somewhere in the above-embedded video that is more than seven hours long), Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell drops some not-very-subtle hints that it has secured the right to make a Fast and the Furious game. Bell says ""Guess what the latest Need for Speed game is doing and have a think about which Hollywood film they're copying, and then I can tell you we have a six-year deal with that major Hollywood company that'll beat what Need for Speed is doing. For the next six years."

The very possibility of a long-term deal for Fast and the Furious games easily passes muster. It's such a bi-annual tour de force in the movie industry that it's kind of amazing that there isn't already a more high-profile video game tie-in (apart from the Forza Horizon standalone thing that released in 2015). Overdue or not, it's probably coming soon and we know that thanks to a CEO who said too much on a stream.

It sounds like Slightly Mad Studios is making a Fast & Furious game [Eurogamer]

Project CARS studio seems to have a six-year deal to make Fast and the Furious games screenshot



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News:: Final Fantasy XV multiplayer expansion 'Comrades' launches on Halloween

Final Fantasy XV: Comrades, the multiplayer expansion for a game that simply does not stop receiving support launches this Halloween--October 31, 2017. It's free for those holding the season pass, but will require PSN Plus or Xbox Live to play.

This is the first instance of a non-MMO mainline Final Fantasy title getting multiplayer support. I wonder if they aren't testing the waters for a fully co-operative Final Fantasy XVI like Fable 2. Role-playing games where you can play the full story co-cooperatively isn't very common but could be a neat thing for companies to explore going forward.

Final Fantasy XV multiplayer expansion 'Comrades' launches on Halloween screenshot

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News:: 'Overwatch' fights toxic players by muting them on Xbox Live

Yesterday, Overwatch's team released the new map, Junkertown, and a few character tweaks in a moderately-sized update. But tucked away in the patch notes was a new tool in Blizzard's fight against toxicity in the game: Xbox Live users that earn enough scorn for the "Avoid Me" reputation are banned from in-game voice chat.

Via: Gamasutra

Source: Overwatch patch notes



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News:: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition pops up in store listing

A now-removed listing for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition has surfaced at online retailer ShopTo and rest assured, the internet was there to catch it and take a screencap for posterity.

The store's description left a lot to the imagination in terms of what all might make it into the package -- it only noted a January 16, 2018 release and £39.99 price point -- but it seems like a believable product, and this week's Tokyo Game Show would be a good opportunity for an announcement.

Street Fighter V is in a tricky place and has been for some time now. I'm not sure how much of an impact a release like this would even have at this point. Personally, I own the disc but I'm pretty much done with SFV, and I don't see a potential arcade mode suddenly rekindling my interest. What about you?

[Via Eurogamer] [Image source]

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition pops up in store listing screenshot

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News:: I changed my mind about Final Fantasy XIII

[Have you ever given a game a second chance, only to completely change your mind on your initial assessment of it? Charlotte Cutts recently gave the extremely divisive Final Fantasy XIII a second spin, and much to her surprise, found a game to be lauded for its many high marks. I did the same thing, myself, and while I came up with completely different results than Charlotte, it's still interesting to see other takes on the same game. Wanna see your work on Destructoid's Front Page? Flex them fingers and get to writin' a blog of your own! - Wes]

Final Fantasy XIII was the first Final Fantasy game I ever tried out, and it was very nearly my last. A few months after I got back into gaming in 2015, I picked up a second-hand copy for a single-digit number of pounds at the Sheffield branch of CeX, thinking it would be an excellent entry to the series - and within three hours, I was convinced I'd made a mistake. I spent what seemed an implausible amount of time pushing through on-rails segments, barely understanding the controls, and having even less of a firm grasp on the clear-as-mud plot. I stuck it back on my bookshelf before I even got past the first chapter and it stayed there for two years.

I changed my mind about Final Fantasy XIII screenshot

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News:: Guide: Here are all the cheats in Final Fantasy IX for PS4

As you probably already know, after a surprise announcement at the Tokyo Game Show, Final Fantasy IX is now out on PlayStation 4

You may have also noticed that this release of Final Fantasy IX comes with some built-in cheats. They're pretty upfront about it. Most of them are accessible from the pause menu, but just in case you missed them we'll go over how to access them and what they do.

Guide: Here are all the cheats in Final Fantasy IX for PS4 screenshot

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News:: Picross S announced for Nintendo Switch, launches next week

Picross games are some good ass shit if you weren't aware. While HAL Labs has put out highly regarded Picross 3D titles on Nintendo 3DS the past few years, Jupiter Games has been churning out the Picross e titles. Now, they've got one for the Nintendo Switch called Picross S that features over 300 puzzles including two-player mode.

Picross S hits the eShop worldwide next week on September 28, 2017 for $7.99 / €7.99 / £7.19. If you're loaded up on big titles to play on your TV and need some smaller titles to play on the go, you won't go wrong with Picross. Now I sound like a marketer even though I'm not, so here's a curse word that wouldn't be allowed in an ad: fuck.

Picross S announced for Nintendo Switch, launches next week screenshot

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News:: Square Enix is hiring for a NieR project

Months later, it's still such a wonderful feeling knowing that NieR: Automata is selling as well as it is and people are loving the game enough to consider it one of the year's best releases. Would you like more where it came from? Not to speak for you, but, I'm totally gonna do just that: of course!

As reported by Gematsu, publisher Square Enix is hiring for "NieR-related product scenario creation, as well as planning work." They'd be brought on to write plots for sub-quests and scenario framing, come up with NPC design specifications, and create item descriptions, among other duties.

The listing also has a note from the lovable NieR director himself, Yoko Taro, who says that "thanks to everyone's support, it appears that we will be carrying out various developments in regard to NieR."

Producer Yosuke Saito adds: "What will we do with NieR from here on? This hit was a one-hit wonder, wasn't it? We've hit our peak and there's no going higher, that must be it. Things like that. But it definitely feels like there are a great many people waiting on the world of NieR. No, I'm sure of it."

More NieR is cause for celebration, but what are you hoping to see? I'd rather not get a direct sequel.

Square Enix hiring staff for "NieR-related product scenario creation" [Gematsu]

Square Enix is hiring for a NieR project screenshot



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News:: We're talking Destiny 2 on Podtoid, so ask us questions about space wizards

I caved and bought Destiny 2 last week. My initial plan was to wait until the PC version came out; I spent a pretty penny building a new rig earlier this year, and Bungie's space shooter seemed like a smart get for my new system. Shortly after game's console release, I turned my PlayStation on and saw that almost everyone on my friend's list was playing Destiny and, uh, I sort of caved. 

My inability to save money means that I'm co-hosting tonight's special edition of Podtoid with Darren and Jordan. We're talking Destiny 2, my dudes, and we want to answer some of your questions about the game during our recording session.

Have a question about engrams? Ask in the comments below. Want to know what my favorite weapon is? Ask. Curious about what Destiny 2 character Darren wants to bone? Ask, and you'll probably receive an answer that makes everyone uncomfortable.

We're talking Destiny 2 on Podtoid, so ask us questions about space wizards screenshot



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News:: Metroid: Samus Returns and Pro Evolution Soccer debut at the top in Japan

While the Switch continues to eat all the other consoles' lunch, a few new titles dropped last week. Metroid: Samus Returns and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 were the top selling new releases, with the latter on top with over 64,000 sales. For a remake of an old yet popular Metroid 2, 30,855 sales seem about right. 

Champion Jockey Special just squeezed in at number 20, reminding me of Japan's love of horse racing. I'm not sure what it is they love so much about horse racing to have so many games based on it, including nearly every arcade devoting a large area to virtual horse racing. I even grew up in Kentucky where horses and horse racing are huge, but no one in Kentucky made a bunch of video games around it.

Metroid: Samus Returns and Pro Evolution Soccer debut at the top in Japan screenshot

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News:: Fortnite's Battle Royale mode goes free next week

A 100-person battle royale needs a thriving playerbase to work well (and stand a chance against PUBG). Epic Games has made the timely call to set Fortnite's still-fairly-new Battle Royale mode free -- it'll be available standalone on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One starting next Tuesday, September 26.

There is "no catch," according to Epic.

"Fortnite Battle Royale is free and we will not sell items that give a competitive advantage. At some point in the future we will sell other things including cosmetics or compendium-like content."

One of the big missing features, the ability to play in squads, is planned to go live on Sept. 26. The team says it is also "working to improve the feel of combat, controls, weapons, movement and inventory."

Fortnite's PvE campaign will launch for free next year and continue to be something you can buy into as an early adopter. For any of you who recently purchased the game to play Battle Royale, you can request a refund from Epic -- so long as your transaction happened between Sept. 12 and Sept. 19.

Fortnite Battle Royale Goes Free For Everyone On Sept. 26 [Epic]

Fortnite's Battle Royale mode goes free next week screenshot



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News:: Sequel to 'Final Fantasy' creator's free-to-play game launches today

Final Fantasy creator Hironubu Sakaguchi has had some good success with his action-RPG-puzzle mobile game, Terra Battle. The free-to-play sequel — Terra Battle 2 — is out on both iOS and Android, but if you want to play it, you'll need to wait until 11:00 PM PT on September 20th, according to the in-game message you'll get when launching the app.

Via: Android Police

Source: iTunes, Google Play



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News:: Epic hopes 'PUBG'-style 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' will tempt gamers

Epic Games' Fortnite has been out for a while in paid Early Access, but hasn't quite taken off in the same way that, say, Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) has. The hot new indie "battle royale" title has a massive, rabid user base and an impressive sales record. It even knocked perennial chart-topper Dota 2 off the Steam charts - an impressive feat, indeed and one that developers like Epic and Rockstar are keen to reproduce.

Now, Epic Games has revealed its strategy to compete with PUBG via a standalone title set in Fortnite's cartoonish, building-focused, zombie-infested universe. The new game, Fortnite Battle Royale, will arrive on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on September 26th, too, beating out PUBG's late-2017's console release date. Better yet, Battle Royale will be free to play.

Via: Polygon

Source: Epic Games



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News:: Final Fantasy XR Ride coming to Universal Studios Japan this January

From time to time there are video game and anime themed attractions and events at Universal Studios Japan (USJ) including Monster Hunter, Resident Evil, Attack on Titan, and Evangelion. As part of the "Cool Japan" initiative, 2018 will see some new attractions as well, with Final Fantasy and Sailor Moon rides along with returning Conan and Monster Hunter attractions.

Today the Final Fantasy XR ride was announced to run from January 19, 2018 until June 24, 2018. You will board an airship and fly through many cutscenes and moments across the series' many entries. Series illustrator Yoshitaka Amano even created the official logo.

Final Fantasy XR Ride coming to Universal Studios Japan this January screenshot

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News:: Minecraft's 'Better Together' updates launches today, gets delayed for Switch

The big day for Minecraft unification is at hand. Mojang and Microsoft have finally launched the "Better Together" update for nearly every version of the block building game, save for a last minute delay with the Switch port. This new update allows players on any platform to play and share together, making for a massively appealing way for friends to screw around after school or even during school.

There is one odd caveat, though. If you happen to own the physical version of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, you'll need to have accrued five hours of game time or purchased one DLC pack before January 30, 2018 to receive the free update to Better Together. After that, I guess you'll need to rebuy the game? Weird that this is just now coming out, but it won't affect owners of the digital version.

As for Switch owners, Mojang is citing that they've encountered issues with the cross-network play. They will be working their hardest to get this solved ASAP, but the ETA for the Switch update is now Winter 2017. Seeing as how Master Chief will be coming to Switch, I think that is a fair enough compromise to make sure everything is in working order.

As for what will happen with the older versions moving forward, all compatible versions will simply be named Minecraft while isolated versions will retain the Edition moniker (i.e. Wii U Edition, PlayStation 4 Edition, etc.). If you still want to play the older versions after today, you can launch them separately from the new update. That is pretty neat, I suppose. This also means you'll receive two sets of achievements for the Windows 10 and Xbox One ports. Hooray for achievements!

Better Together FAQ [Minecraft]

Minecraft's 'Better Together' updates launches today, gets delayed for Switch screenshot



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News:: Review: Samurai Shodown V Special (PS4)

Samurai Shodown is unfortunately one of those fighting game series that never quite caught on. The methodical series of fighters and its focus on steady, patient fundamentals came and went on the Neo Geo (RIP, we miss you everyday) and it certainly didn't help matters that the final game on the system was also faced with numerous censor and bug issues. 

Many years later, I finally have the chance to play Samurai Shodown V Special in all of its violent glory with a little spice to make it extra nice. Play it while throwing a few back with a couch buddy for the best experience, however. It can be a lonely one.

Review: Samurai Shodown V Special (PS4) screenshot

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News:: Nintendo issues takedowns for ‘Super Mario 64 Online' mod videos

Last week, modders released a tool that enabled folks to play the classic game Super Mario 64 online in massive multiplayer batches with up to 23 of their friends. To be clear, this was just a plugin that allowed folks who were already playing emulated ROMs of the game on a computer to roam together. Nevertheless, Nintendo caught wind and, predictably, served enough copyright takedown notices to pull the videos promoting the tool -- and the main modder Kaze Emanuar's Patreon account -- offline.

Source: Polygon



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News:: Absolver's newest update adds Devolver Digital-themed masks

Online slugfest Absolver's latest update lets players adorn their faces with masks inspired by some of Devolver Digital's other games. In addition to the new headgear, the 1.06 update includes numerous UI improvements and ability-related tweaks.

The full patch notes are evidence of developer Sloclap's ongoing efforts to make Absolver reach its full potential. There's plenty of information to glean from the post on game's Steam page, but the real star of the patch is the host of new Devolver-themed masks.

Absolver's newest update adds Devolver Digital-themed masks screenshot

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News:: Fall back into Pokemon Go with the new Equinox event

Pokemon Go is still trucking along, despite most people having given up on the plucky mobile game. I can't say that I care about it now as much as when I first started a few months ago, but I do try my best to find a Pokestop each day and walk around my neighborhood when not working out. If you're still holding on to Niantic's flash-in-a-pan app, then you'll be happy to know that the change of seasons is bringing about a new event.

Dubbed the "Equinox" event, from September 22 to October 2, players will earn double stardust for catching any Pokemon or hatching eggs. Gyms will also give out special 2 KM eggs that have a greater chance of hatching into rarer monsters like Chansey, Larvitar and Mareep. In addition to all of that, there will also be a "Super Incubator" that will hatch eggs at 1.5 times the normal rate.

To cap it off, registering any new Pokemon during this event will also net you three times the normal experience, which should hopefully give new players a huge boost towards their progress in the game. Couple that with a lucky egg and you should fly through the leveling system in no time.

Whether or not any of this is enough to keep players enticed is anyone's guess, but I'm still somehow playing Pokemon Go. Maybe that is due to my late start (a year after the craze faded), but I kind of enjoy catching random things while going about my daily business. If only the game used its geolocational data better, because I'd love to see Machop's or Hitmonlee's at a gym.

Celebrate the Equinox! [Pokemon Go]

Fall back into Pokemon Go with the new Equinox event screenshot



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News:: Hot deal: Middle-earth: Shadow of War pre-order as high as 40% off

We're going to file this one away as a crazy good deal - and a semi-hidden one at that. For a limited time you can pick up the PC Steam copy of Middle-earth: Shadow of War for up to 40% off. That's only $36 and change for the sequel to one of the top games of 2014. While Warner Bros. games had always received aggressive discounts at third-party digital retailers (Mad Max is a good example), we were still surprised by this offer from GMG this week.

The coupon is running until September 25. As some of you may recall, we wrote about a 25% off deal earlier this year - and this has decisively blown it out of the water. There's one minor caveat though: unlike the 25% off deal from March, this big price cut only applies to the Standard and Silver Edition of the game and not the Gold Edition. But for many of us who only want to partake in the Standard fare, this is still a great deal.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Deals (Up to 40% off)

Difference Between Standard vs. Silver vs Gold Edition?

Standard gets you the base game (duh). Silver nets you two additional expansions (Slaughter Tribe Nemesis and Outlaw Tribe Nemesis) along with a Silver War Chest. While finally the Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gold Edition comes with two more expansions: The Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion, The Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion, and a Gold War Chest. Its list price is a big $100.

In our opinion you have two options this week before the 25th. Grab the Standard Edition and enjoy the game. Skip out on the Silver and wait for its eventual DLC to go on sale.

Or stay put, ignore both deals, and wait for the eventual GOTY Edition or some such which will come with everything under the sun for one singular price. This usually gets released six to twelve months after initial release. Heck, you can wait another year or so after the GOTY and it'll be $5 in some bundle or another too, probably.

Game deals from Dealzon. Sales help support Destructoid.

Hot deal: Middle-earth: Shadow of War pre-order as high as 40% off screenshot



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News:: Vampyr needs to sleep a little longer, delayed to spring 2018

Garlic, wooden stakes, the sun -- these are all things that vampires must avoid. For one specific vampire, "fall release dates" can be added to the list.

Dontnod Entertainment's Vampyr has been pushed back from late 2017 to spring 2018. In a press release from publisher Focus Home Interactive, Dontnod CEO Oskar Guilbert says that a now-resolved technical issue is the reason for the delay. While the hiccup shifted the schedule, there's now extra time at the end of the development cycle for additional "polishing and balancing."

And that's perfectly okay! The commonplace mindset about delays in recent years is something akin to "they're fine if it means the video game is better off for it." Besides, it has been nearly three years since we first heard about Vampyr, so what's another few months? Vampires live for like a thousand years so it makes sense that they move at a little slower pace.

Vampyr needs to sleep a little longer, delayed to spring 2018 screenshot



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