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    A future Hearthstone update will shake up the game's competitive scene by nerfing several cards.

    NewsMatthew Byrd
    May 16, 2018

    The Hearthstone team have announced a series of balance changes that will drastically impact some of Hearthstone's most dominant decks.

    The most obvious target of this patch was Warlock. For some time now, variations of slow Warlock decks that are able to effectively control many Hearthstone matches have been dominating competitive Hearthstone games as well as the in-game ladder. Those decks will take a big hit when this next balance change rolls around. Not only is Possessed Lackey - a card that allows Warlock decks to "cheat" big minions onto the board early - getting a raise in mana cost (five mana to six mana) but the ultra-versatile Warlock healing card Dark Pact will soon only restore four health rather than eight. 

    Paladin players may be disappointed to learn that Call to Arms - a card that allowed Paladins to fill a board with cheap minions for a reduced cost - will now cost five mana instead of four mana. This is a huge blow to the popular "Even Paladin" and "Murloc Paladin" decks which rely on that card for aggressive early turns. As for the also popular "Odd Paladin" deck, Blizzard believes this card will not see much play in that build as players who run it are limited to using odd cost cards only and will not be able to use Call to Arms to summon two mana minions. 

    Rounding out the nerfs is a mana raise for the incredibly strong Spiteful Summoner (up from six mana to seven), a second nerf to the frustratingly effective Cavern's Below card (friendly minions will now have four health and four attack when this card is played rather than five health and five attack), and a surprising nerf to Naga Sea Witch; a Wild mode card that has allowed players to play multiple large minions on turn five due to a questionable change made to the functionality of the card's core mechanic. 

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    Overall, this is a pretty thorough and ultimately fair set of nerfs to some of Hearthstone's most frustrating cards. It remains to be seen whether Warlock's era of dominance will be quelled so easily, but this should certainly help level the playing field a bit. Other changes introduced will also likely help to diversify the number of competitive decks in the game. 

    There's no word on when this patch will be released, but it will be uploaded sometime after the conclusion of the HTC Summer Playoffs. 


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    Production of physical PlayStation Vita game cartridges is to end in 2019, Sony has announced...

    News Ryan Lambie
    May 16, 2018

    The PlayStation Vita has weathered a difficult few years since its release in 2011. Sony's immensely powerful handheld showed huge promise when it came to mobile games with depth, yet its use of expensive proprietary memory cards made it a pricy investment.

    The system never quite took off in terms of sales, but all the same, it's enjoyed a devoted following - and in more recent years, the Vita's become a home to all kinds of great indie games and Japanese RPGs. 

    An announcement from Sony, meanwhile, suggests that the Vita's time may be sadly running out. According to Kotaku, Sony has contacted software developers to inform them that, as of March 31, 2019, it'll be ending production of Vita game cards - the system's proprietary physical media. As a result, Sony has advised developers to get their orders in for batches of game cards by next February as production begins to wind down.

    Of course, this doesn't spell the end for the Vita as such. Games will still be available to download on the system's digital store, and it sounds as though production of physical games will continue in Japan, where the handheld enjoys a much greater following. 

    All the same, it does seem like Sony's preparing to turn the page on the Vita's seven-year reign. It may have been eclipsed somewhat by the Nintendo 3DS and the rise of smartphone gaming, but the Vita remains a rock-solid machine - and with great games like Persona 4 Goldenand Dragon's Crown among its library of exclusives, it's likely to become increasingly collectible in the years to come.


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    A host of rumors about the Switch version of Pokemon claim the game has a name, setting, and final features.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 16, 2018

    Leaked information from Nintendo suggests that the Nintendo Switch versions of Pokemon have official names. 

    Users on Twitter, 4chan, Resetera, and other websites who claim to be working with inside information suggest that the two versions of Pokemon's upcoming Switch release will be titled Pokemon Let's Go! Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go! Eevee. Some have stated that these names have been floating around for months, but they became much more interesting recently when what appears to be a drawing for one of the game's logos appeared online

    That's not all the leaks revealed. Just about everyone who claims that the above game names are official are also insisting that the current plan is for the game to take place in the Kanto region - the region the series began in - and that it will utilize elements seen in Pokemon Go

    From here, information about the games become much more speculative. However, it does seem like the current plan for the Nintendo Switch versions of Pokemon is for the games to serve as a remake of Pokemon Yellow. In essence, that would make it a remake of a reimagining of Pokemon Red and Blue. This version, though, would feature visuals similar to those seen in the Nintendo 3DS Pokemon games. The biggest known differences between the two is that the Switch versions would feature generally improved graphics and the possibility that Pokemon in the Switch version of the game will actually appear on the map as roaming creatures. 

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    That seemingly factors into the game's possible ties to Pokemon Go. It seems that the plan is for the Switch versions of Pokemon to allow users to catch Pokemon in a manner similar to the one seen in the popular mobile game. At this time, it's not clear whether that will be the primary way you catch Pokemon or just an option. 

    Whether or not every one of these details is true, it certainly seems like Nintendo is preparing to reveal much more information about Pokemon Switch at E3 2018. We certainly wouldn't be surprised to hear that any of this leaked information is true, but the exact details noted in these leaks should be considered with caution until something official emerges. 


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    When it comes to gaming, there are winners and there are losers. Here are 41 systems and accessories that truly were a waste of time.

    Feature Daniel Kurland
    May 16, 2018

    Putting hand to formed plastic as you try out a new video game controller or peripheral that works well—one that really clicks—is a magical experience. Gameplay melts into you as your body becomes an extension of the console, this humble device fusing with your hands into a single new, exciting umbilicus.

    A good gaming device is indispensable. I’m sure most of us can’t imagine playing GameCube without a Wavebird Controller, shaking a Wiimote without the MotionPlus firmly attached, blazing through a classic on the Sega Saturn without the 3D Controller, or facing off against a competitor that isn’t via an online network. Many of these additions end up being fundamental to the consoles they were designed for.

    But sometimes these efforts fall very short and are virtually forgotten and never spoken of again. That’s what this list is all about: the hardware that didn’t need to happen or failed miserably. But let’s break this up a little bit and start with the unnecessary gaming devices of the retro era before moving onto contemporary uselessness.

    RETRO SYSTEMS AND ACCESSORIES

    SEGA ACTIVATOR

    It’s kind of unbelievable that decades before people were complaining about extraneous motion controls on the Kinect and Move, the Sega Genesis was quietly setting the (low) bar for full body motion control.

    The Sega Activator was a peripheral for the Sega Genesis in the ‘90s that was meant to facilitate motion controls in its games, particularly fighting titles. The setup: the player would stand in this octagonal grid that used infrared lights to detect movement in over 16 different areas.

    While the Activator was designed specifically to work with Mortal Kombat, Comix Zone, and Eternal Champions, it was heralded to be usable with every game, which is certainly true if you’re liberal with the term “usable.”

    What made this a bust was that while the commercials showed gamers rapidly doing martial arts in the octagon, as they pleasantly watched their digital counterpoints do the same, the way the peripheral actually operated was that each section was essentially mapped a button that was detected as you waved your hand into said section. Only the product was extremely temperamental in addition to this, seldom bearing results, even for the three games it was programmed for (plus the hefty $80 price tag it came with).

    I suppose that’s what happens when you base a game product off of a musician’s idea (Assaf Gurner's Light Harp) rather than a game developer’s.

    SUPER NINTENDO MOUSE

    While a perfectly fine mouse peripheral in its own right, the onus here more so falls on its purpose. Gamers may tend to jump to the conclusion that the mouse was only used with Mario Paint, a title that the two-button peripheral was even packaged with. In fact, the mouse was compatible was a surprising number of games, but this felt more like the system trying to shoehorn a functionality that wasn’t there onto a product.

    For instance, while the mouse was made usable for a bunch of games, does anyone really want to be evading dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, or destroying cyborgs in T2: The Arcade Game with one? With so little purpose, it makes you wonder why they even bothered. At least the even less remembered PlayStation mouse peripheral made good use of a real-time strategy and point-and-click adventure library at its disposal.

    PLAYSTATION LINK CABLE

    A link cable that allows multiplayer gaming is nothing new here, yet many were unaware that the original PlayStation even offered such a capability. What's slightly different in this version of multiplayer gaming is that in console-to-console linking, you’re not forced to share a split-screen experience. At last, you can have a whole screen’s worth of space without the frustration of it being squished down.

    The catch?

    Oh, you know, because you’re linking console-to-console, to actually use this feature, you’re going to need two PlayStations, two copies of the game you’re playing (in like 98% of the cases), and two televisions that are near each other.

    Sure, it’d be nice to play Twisted Metal 3 in a true multiplayer environment, but it shouldn’t involve the prerequisite of owning a cloning machine to be practical.

    NES POWER GLOVE

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, you know about this thing; I get it. You’ve seen The Wizard a thousand times; I hear you. But there’s more to this peripheral than it being prime meme fodder.

    Part of the problem here could have been that Nintendo, in spite of licensing this product/clothing item, outsourced the development to six different people/teams, continually switching and amending the work they had done, and it very well could have been a case of too many e-cooks in the e-kitchen.

    Controlling the glove consisting of using the basic NES controls that were on the glove, inputting commands to the labeled 1-9 buttons (nine buttons), as well as utilizing hand motions to control your character, too.

    After you've incorporated all of this excess into the peripheral, you're now free to play your selected game in a much, much more complicated, precarious way than before! Sure, the idea of controlling a video game with a glove seems cool, especially back in the '80s, but a core concept in that idea working is that the glove has to actually control the video game effectively. However, if you are desperate to see just how frivolous this device is, I suggest you start with Super Glove Ball, Glove Pilot, and Manipulator Glove Adventure (hmm, do you see a pattern here?).

    SATELLAVIEW

    Exclusive to Japan, the Satellaview for the SNES (or, more accurately, the Super Famicom), was a satellite modem that, naturally, facilitated access to online gaming all the way back in 1995, or at least a version of it.

    The way that this very complicated system worked is that via the Satellaview, your Super Famicom would pick up satellite TV stations. There would then be a designated hour (The Super Famicom Hour, natch) that would air content like contests, magazines, data, and of course games.

    The games were actually distributed in a pretty interesting fashion, usually airing in parts each week, with a password being involved, or yourself needing to unlock access to the next part before the subsequent episode aired; almost like radio plays, but for video games.

    In spite of this novel idea, and fun things like contests being offered through the service, the support and games behind it were minimal. The fact that Satellaview was roughly retailing for around $150 USD (which didn’t include you also picking up the BS tuner that was necessary for the service, as well as Nintendo’s additional subscription fees) certainly didn’t help move or justify the product either.

    MASTER SYSTEM GIRL

    Okay, here’s the litmus test to see if the Master System Girl is unnecessary: Have you heard of the Master System? Yes, you have? Okay, well then this offshoot is entirely redundant. All that this is is a regular Sega Master System, but colored pink, and with a feminine avatar slapped onto the packaging.

    The product was produced by Tectoy in Brazil as a means to increase the amount of female gamers on the system, but not only is the system needless, but it’s pretty much enforcing gender stereotypes and entrenched sexism in youth (because of course a female would play a video game system if it was pink, and of course a female would give something a chance if it now had “Girl” in the title).

    Bottom line, there was nothing stopping girls from playing the original Master System (especially with prominent titles like Phantasy Star even featuring a female protagonist), and if they had to play some co-opted gender confused console, couldn’t it have a slightly less clunky name, like Mistress System, instead of Master System Girl?

    FAMICOIN

    Another product that never made it overseas from Japan (perhaps because we were seen to have enough common sense that such a product wasn't seen as necessary), the Famicoin (ohhhh, I see what it did there) was a rubber pad that you'd put over your controller's D-Pad...

    Oh, you want to know why you would do this? You mean in all the photos or videos you’ve seen of people playing Nintendo, they’ve never been doing so with the aid of a Famicoin? Surprising!

    Obviously ,the Famicoin is used to give yourself better, enhanced grip and protect yourself from the dangers of repetitive strain injuries, dumbie. Just a thin layer of extra rubber to make gaming easier on your hands. Besides, the Famicoins even come with fun stickers that you can put on them! How can you not have confidence in a product that hides behind stickers?

    NES SPEEDBOARD

    Here’s a peripheral that is absolutely going to change your life.

    You’re going to view gaming from this point on in a “Pre-Speedboard” and “Post-Speedboard” sense, that’s how fundamental this thing is. The Speedboard for the Nintendo—and brace yourself now—is a piece of plastic that is meant to hold the NES controller for you, so you are therefore able to press buttons faster.

    Do you need some time now so you can go scour the electronic bay for the cheapest, most accessible copy?

    In all seriousness though, this thing is the worst (it’s actually widely considered to be the worst gaming peripheral). It’s really doing nothing at all, let alone help you game any faster here, and feels like the definition of the most useless, cash grab-y, grandmother-ignorantly-buying-you-for-the-holidays sort of peripheral.

    It is the only NES accessory endorsed by a NASCAR driver, Kyle Petty though, so if that’s something you’ve been looking for, hesitate no longer.

    It also goes without saying that it’s safe to assume that if you were to try using the Speedboard and Famicoin in conjunction, you’d be gaming so fast that the world would just collapse in on itself.

    NINTENDO U-FORCE

    Basically Nintendo’s equivalent to the Sega Activator, the U-Force was a rudimentary, infinitely persnickety attempt at motion gaming on the NES, way ahead of its time, biting off way more than it could chew. Rather than being an octagonal shape like the Activator, the U-Force instead goes in the next logical direction, a laptop-like setup that reads your hand movements and translates them onto the screen.

    With a bunch of crazy stuff in the middle!

    Ideally, this feature was billed to work with games like Punch-Out!! and offer a real advantage to the player. In reality though, the peripheral ended up being less responsive and more restrictive than the Activator, and also offered up a smaller range to play with. Just looking at the ridiculous setup going on here; almost looking like some David Cronenberg kind of creation, tells you that this wasn’t a desirable, necessary way to enjoy video games.

    SEGA NETLINK

    Sega was far from done with experimenting with online gaming in its earlier years. The Sega Saturn in fact eventually had a modem made for it allowing gamers to compete against each other.

    While such a luxury was desirable at the time, the Saturn’s Sega NetLink modem retailed for $199 (or, bundled with the Saturn for a cool $400; there was even a Sega Pluto prototype made that was an Internet-ready Saturn out of the box) which was a pretty steep price tag.

    The NetLink modem allowed players to use the Internet, e-mail, and even used a modified version of the XBAND technology that was implemented to give the Genesis and SNES online access. Saturn’s online play was actually somewhat refined, the larger problem was that only five games in the Saturn’s library could go online (with Daytona USA, Saturn Bomberman, and Duke Nukem being some of the highlights).

    In the end, the cost of the NetLink modem was deemed unjustified -- not to mention that a very limited base of players were actually interested in it.

    SEGA SCOPE/FAMICOM 3D

    When the Sega Master System and original Nintendo were flailing to come up with flashy peripherals to justify their expensive systems, one of the more interesting efforts made were the SegaScope 3D glasses and Famicom 3D glasses which were released in the late '80s. Utilizing Field Sequential 3D with the aid of some pretty severe Ray Charles-esque LCD glasses, you could experience your titles with the magic of three dimensions.

    Games like Space Harrier 3Dwere being played in a whole new way, and even though the tech being used here was a far way away from where we are now (using that double-image syncing idea), it still bore results and Field Sequential 3D even began to be used in movies at the time.

    The issue again here was that not enough people were even aware these peripherals existed, and due to the rudimentary forms of 3D being offered here, in spite of the thrill, it might have been more fruitful to just wait a few generations longer.

    GAMEBOY CAMERA AND PRINTER

    In 1998, Nintendo developed a digital camera and corresponding printer for its GameBoy handheld. The smallest digital camera of the time, the device allowed you to shoot pictures, view and edit them, and also a “play” option featuring a number of Game and Watch-esque mini-games you could, incorporating your photos in it.

    The games and set-up here are a lot like the camera options that were eventually offered decades later on the Nintendo DS. This camera was largely seen as a luxury for children and more of a toy.

    The camera itself worked fine, but it was the eventual dwindling support that was the issue, not to mention that if the GameBoy printer was a major selling point for you, it would be exceedingly difficult to acquire more thermal printer to actually print your images (and would be drastically more difficult to do now).

    Any product where you can run out of “fuel” for it, is certainly problematic.

    N64 TRANSFER PAK

    Nintendo seemed ever eager to always try to be linking together its GameBoy with the Nintendo 64, with this being one of the later attempts at the synergy.

    How the Transfer Pak worked was that you would put a GameBoy game into the pak, and it would use data from this to unlock something in the corresponding N64 title. The most prominent, functional example of this technology was in the Pokemon Stadium titles (they even came packaged with the peripheral), but Mario Tennis and Mario Golf also made meager attempts at using the science.

    The 64’s Perfect Dark had large plans with the device, with the intention being to link up with the GameBoy Camera to transpose faces onto your enemies. However, after the Columbine High shootings took place, suddenly the idea of shooting enemies that resembled your family and friends was no longer as desirable.

    This tech was always seen as a frivolity rather than something fundamental to gaming. When you then consider the embarrassing amount of titles that actually supported the hardware, this endeavor seems even less necessary. Releasing the N64 from the start with this sort of reading ability in place, would have been the ideal move.

    3DO’S EIGHT-CONTROLLER DAISY CHAIN

    The gaming population at large is fairly ignorant of the 3DO in general (home of Gex!), so it makes sense that some of its weirder features would be equally unrecognized.

    Many inclusions on this list have been about enhanced multiplayer gaming, but the 3DO truly goes the farthest here, with its ability to link together eight controllers.

    The 3DO controllers had a port in the back that could be connected to another one. This meant that you didn’t need some multi-tap or additional controller ports at all; these controllers were self-sufficient.

    While a reasonably smart idea in its own right, if you could actually find eight willing 3DO players, the bigger issue became actually tracking down titles that supported the feature. A progressive idea, but one that could barely ever be implemented and enjoyed.

    GAME BOY COLOR/GAME BOY ADVANCE/NINTENDO DS RUMBLE PAK

    Our video game controllers vibrating and sending minimal shockwaves to our hands to better “feel the game” are expected and understood components of consoles these days. I suppose it only makes sense that someone would try translating this technology over to handheld gaming where your hands are playing a much more crucial role in the experience.

    Nintendo developed a number of rumble pak enhanced titles, that came with the peripheral built right into it, rather than selling it separately. The first instances of this were seen with Pokemon Pinball for the GameBoy Color (and there being a steady decision to use this power for pinball games down the road, like Metroid Pinball for the DS), and occasional, minimal support continued to be seen. It’s not as if the rumbling technology was too powerful here and ruining gameplay as a result.

    No, what was more the concern was the languishing support to use the feature (why not just put it in all titles starting with the GameBoy Advance, rather than a seemingly random selection system). If Nintendo couldn’t fully embrace it, why should we? And while aesthetics are not a crucial area here, the fact that rumble-enhanced games were bulky, ugly mutations of cartridges may not have helped either.

    NINTENDO 64/DREAMCAST MICROPHONES

    The natural progression to incorporate voice into video gaming was only a matter of time before the transition was made. While online gaming now has a rich, accomplished microphone and speech system in place, some of the earlier attempts at the idea were not nearly as fluid.

    For instance, the Nintendo 64 tried their hand at the idea, creating a bulky microphone peripheral which would only end up being used for the game, Hey You, Pikachu!. Voice tech was far from perfect yet, but to design an entire compatible microphone and then only make it implemented in one title, is a definite waste.

    The Dreamcast didn’t learn much from this either, creating an arguably sleeker, more refined mic, it was also only used for a handful of titles (most notably Seamon and Alien Front Online), with the rest being a random grab bag of the titles that worked with it.

    The temptation to get into this stream was obviously large for these companies, but they should have waited until voice tech was more of a fundamental, required gaming aspect.

    Even the Gamecube released a disastrous microphone peripheral that really only seemed to stand out as extraneous Mario Party hardware.

    JAGUAR CD

    The Jaguar CD was Atari's CD-based add-on for their already existing Jaguar system that worked much in the same way as how the Sega CD locked onto the Genesis.

    It's no surprise that a lot of failed systems have come and gone through the years, and while updating the Jaguar with disc-based games might have seemed like a good idea at the time, it was largely a floundering result. Only eleven games were created for the system (the highlight of which was Primal Rage, to illustrate just how much you weren’t missing here). And even if eleven titles was still enough of a library to keep you entertained, pricing the add-on peripheral at roughly $150 would be enough to dissuade you.

    With the efforts being put out here, and the bulk of these titles available on other systems, the reasons that the Jaguar CD has to exist become fewer and fewer.

    BLEEM! FOR DREAMCAST

    A rather bizarre, unusual idea here that you don’t see very often at all, Bleem!’s goal was to allow you to play PlayStation games on a Dreamcast or PC.

    The idea of playing a competitor’s title on its rivals system is pretty ballsy (imagine if there was some peripheral that allowed you to play Wii games on the PS3), and its exactly this ballsy-ness that led to Bleem!’s bankruptcy and closure.

    Bleem! was essentially a built-in, official PlayStation emulator. It’s use was meant to further popularize PlayStation titles on other systems, and even had slick control mapping to make the transition as easy as possible.

    While all of this may sound too good to be true, it more or less was, as Sony took great exception to what was going on here, and their continual lawsuits soon took the company under (but it should be mentioned that they didn’t outright win their case, or succeed in removing Bleem! from stores, which sets interesting emulation precedent).

    If this legal grayness wasn’t enough to keep this peripheral behind, the fact that Bleem! could only operate Gran Turismo 2, Metal Gear Solid, and Tekken 3, was another nail in its ambitious coffin. And while playing heavy hitter titles like this on the Dreamcast, even with slightly beefed up graphics, the fact that Bleem! also required you to own the original PlayStation game disc, was a little too much effort for the gamers that were on board with the idea.

    R.O.B.

    Everyone’s favorite peripheral/robot! R.O.B. (or, the Robotic Operating Buddy, but why should we be so formal with the little guy) is a pretty ridiculous peripheral when you stop to consider that this is a controller in the shape of a “conscious” robot.

    Nintendo was throwing a lot of ideas at the wall in these earlier days, and while R.O.B. was only supported on two titles (Gyromiteand Stack-Up), the peripheral certainly made an impression (hey, you don't make it into Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart DS as a playable character by being unknown!).

    It's somewhat comical that R.O.B. was produced by Nintendo as a means to fight against the "video game crash of '83" and assure retailers that video gaming was still very much alive, when this thing looks like the biggest knee-jerk panic attack decision that could be made. R.O.B. worked by receiving optical flashes from the TV that would correspond to his LED eyes. R.O.B. was then capable of completing six commands, which would correspond to the game.

    There some attempts to update R.O.B. so he could function with the SNES, or at least have a wider support system would have been crucial but didn’t even seem to be what Nintendo was interested in doing with the thing.

    Arguably, this was all clunky at best (imagine if a Furby or something was added as an Xbox peripheral), expensive, and with limited software support, but at the least, it left you with a robot in your room to play with, which is more than what some useless fishing controller would leave you with.

    VIRTUAL BOY

    The little system that could!

    Or at least could for thirty minutes before you needed to put it away before those spider eggs in your skull hatched.

    Seeming even sillier now that Nintendo has produced the beyond viable 3DS, the Virtual Boy was the company’s much, much earlier attempt at the technology. The problem here was that the clunky headset of a system would actually begin to make you feel nauseous or dizzy after extended use, which is kind of a serious issue. It also didn’t help that the system sold for $180 (the 3DS quickly retailed for $170 after its release).

    In spite of there actually being some worthwhile titles on the system like Virtual Boy Wario Land and Teleroboxer, and the 3D effects occasionally impressing and doing their job, the console was on the market for less than a year before Nintendo silently killed it.

    They didn’t even issue a press release on the matter, they wanted it to be over with so badly. By the end, only 22 games were released, only 14 making it to North America, and if you’re getting headaches to work through only a dozen some odd games, this thing likely should have stayed as a prototype.

    NINTENDO 64DD

    Much in the same vein as the Sega CD, or other lock-on peripherals, the 64DD was a disk drive that connected to the bottom of the console. These disks would act as expansions for games, allowing you to edit and create, and have a network at your disposal, while also releasing games upon itself, boasting an impressive launch line-up of SimCity 64, Mario Artist, Pocket Monsters, and Mother 3, the majority of these of course didn't happen.

    In actuality, under ten games were released for the add-on, but there was a large list of nearly fifty titles that were scrapped, due to the unexpected failure of the idea. The attachment was delayed three years on and off, and when it eventually was released in Japan, it was seen as a commercial failure to the point that it wasn't even attempted to be released over here.

    The bulk of the games ended up being re-designed for the Gamecube. The lesson here being that this idea, which had been in place before the N64 even came out, should have been around from the launch, rather than coming out in the system's nadir before it truly had a chance, and was only appealing to a niche crowd.

    NAMCO NEGCON

    One of the absolute weirder controllers that was out there for the PlayStation. The NeGcon (pronounced "neh-gee-con," obviously) was meant to be used with racing games, and while a clunky steering wheel controller might seem weird to some people, the approach in place here was that there was a swivel joint in the middle of the controller, and you'd twist the respective halves of the thing, like you're wringing out a towel almost, to control the acceleration and brake of your vehicle.

    The controller actually worked pretty decently and was even available for the low price of five dollars, but the design was too weird for most and didn’t prove to be popular or viable enough to continue on past its generation.

    PALMTOP CONTROLLER

    Okay, don’t you love those dance rhythm games like Dance Dance Revolution? Aren’t they a great way to work out your body and blast through a video game at the same time? But isn’t the worst thing about those dancing games is that we, as humans, dance with our feet? Wouldn’t the world just be perfect if we danced with our fingers, and could let our tired legs rest at last?

    Well, the Palmtop Controller answered these prayers and then some. Here, you could work through your favorite rhythm games, with the pleasure of your fingers, an entirely unnecessary endeavor that kind of defeats the purpose of these games entirely.

    Unsurprisingly, you likely haven’t seen these things being used in wide support.

    ROLL ‘N ROCKER

    If you were ever one of those kids that wished that their Nintendo was more like a skateboard, or that skateboarding was more like a video game, then you might have been one of the few lonely souls who happened to pick up the Roll ‘n Rocker for the NES. The skateboard-like peripheral involved the player standing on the device, controlling the D-Pad with their feet and by tilting their weight distribution, as they tried to successfully make magic happen and work the game properly.

    If you can picture an even clunkier, more problematic version of Nintendo’s Power Glove, you can maybe begin to fathom what this controller was like. But at least with the Power Glove no one was falling to the ground, getting hurt.

    AURA INTERACTOR

    A preliminary attempt at rumble pak technology back in the Genesis and SNES days, except only instead of the rumbling coming out of your controller, the aura interactor was a vest that you would wear (and eventually a cushion that would go against the back of your seat too).

    The system had a tiny speaker inside of it that would provide the “feedback” and vibrations that made you “feel” the game, as punches and kicks took place. The vest was expectedly faulty, and with it and the cushion both retailing for $99 each, most people were skeptical to jump on the bandwagon.

    With that money, you could buy a handful of new games, and bounce your hands and controllers around just fine. Push the speaker up to the back of your chair if you’re that desperate; it might even work better.

    PLAYSTATION/NINTENDO 64 CONTROLLER GLOVES

    Surprisingly even rarer than the NES Power Glove, but about equally as troublesome, Reality Quest made a series of controller gloves for the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation (as well as the PC).

    The mechanism worked by steering or controlling your character with the movement of your wrist, and your fingers working the keys. This design honestly wasn’t the worst and allowed you to play your games one-handed, but it felt, just like it looked, like an unnecessary idea being crammed in where it didn’t need to be; a novelty cash grab to offer something new to those who didn’t know better.

    While it was possible to work a game with this peripheral, it never gave a more preferable experience or simplified the game any.

    At tournaments, you don’t see people busting out the controller glove for Super Smash Bros. or Silent Hill, though. And with the device being as hard to find as it is, it seems like the world is slowly eliminating its existence all on its own.

    NYKO HIP CLIP

    It’s hard to believe that this piece of garbage came out in the 2000s, and not the gullible time of the ‘80s or ‘90s. What you see here is what you get: a holster for your GameBoy Color, that couldn’t be a more uncool way to carry around your gaming device. Not to mention that the GameBoy Color was already at a certain sleekness that it could fit in most pockets as it was. It didn’t need this attachment at all, and even if you thought you did require it, it surely wouldn’t have stayed on you long after the constant stone throwings and insult assaults you’d be open to.

    NES LOCKOUT

    Now here’s a peripheral that actually prevents you from playing your video games, the NES Lockout is one for the parents, everyone! This was a self-setting combination lock that would clip onto the front of your Nintendo, and act as a vise, holding the system together, preventing gameplay.

    While something like this does serve a purpose and the idea of children overindulging on video games can be a serious problem in some cases, this product just felt like a lazy cash-in.

    The lock wasn’t that strong, and was simple enough, that if parents really wanted to keep their kids from playing games, it would have been a safer idea to just hide their games, rather than having the tempting locked box right in front of them.

    RECENT SYSTEMS AND PERIPHERALS

    GAMECUBE BROADBAND ADAPTER/MODEM ADAPTER

    Where to begin with the Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 Online Adapter, an addition which—I’m sorry. I forgot that’s not what the product’s called, but it may as well be because the Gamecube’s modem is essentially only used on the aforementioned Sega title. That’s it.

    Online functionality was added to a system purely to facilitate the use of one game. If that doesn’t qualify as unnecessary, I’m not sure what does.

    Granted, the adapter allowed LAN play with a few other titles that you could count on your hand, and the product was actually reverse engineered and the first few pirated dumps of Gamecube titles happened as a result.

    It’s just depressing that in a generation where the Xbox and even the PS2 had robust online gaming communities, this is all that Nintendo could muster.

    NINTENDO E-READER

    The Nintendo e-Reader was a failed device for the GameBoy Advance that used an LED scanner to read cards (that were called e-Reader cards; hey, branding!) with encoded data printed on them. Swiping these cards--I mean, e-Reader cards--would unlock content in a corresponding game, whether it be a mini-game, new levels, hidden items, or in some of the most appealing cases, full NES games.

    This in itself is a somewhat novel idea and more or less a pre-cursor to downloadable content that followed down the road, but the problem here was that the majority of people didn't want to hunt down separate items like cards, if they've already bought the game, especially when these cards are only applicable for a limited amount of titles (with Super Mario, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing unsurprisingly making the most use out of the add-on). Some of these e-Reader cards were even acquired at certain events, or only available at certain locations, that this became far too much effort for a scarcely implemented feature.

    In spite of the peripheral seeing success in Japan, it was almost immediately discontinued in North America after people collectively sighed in its direction.

    PLAYSTATION 2 HORIZONTAL STAND

    While surely the least functional of the peripherals and systems on this list, this item fits the bill for being unnecessary in very simple terms: it’s an entirely superfluous addition that truly offers nothing to the console; it’s deceiving you if anything. Like most modern consoles, they are built with the ability to either stand vertically or horizontally.

    The PS2, for instance, while shipping as a “horizontal system,” in time released a vertical stand; a mostly unnecessary product, but one that allowed you to stand your system up, providing it air and alleviating the motor, albeit still being something you could largely do on your own without the use of purchased plastic.

    If that wasn’t enough, Sony eventually released a horizontal stand so you’d have no trouble making sure that your console could rest on the ground without exception. It’s doing nothing here. It’s literally a ground surrogate. But I suppose you could consult the product’s original description, which claims that the stand also provides your system with a “visually stunning result” and “keeps it secure” in case it was going to run away or something, so perhaps I can’t see the forest through the trees here…

    STEEL BATTALION CONTROLLER

    And sometimes "unnecessary" doesn't qualify as something that's so needless that it doesn't even need to exist. Sometimes “unnecessary” can be something that's so, so realistic, and complicated, it's doing no one any good use at all.

    Take for instance the Steel Battalion controller, a $200, highly obtrusive, forty-button control station. The idea here is that you were getting unrivaled mech simulation for the first time ever, but is this something that we truly need? Do we need to spend $200 on a "controller" that's more than twice the price of the only game it works with?

    That answer is…maybe?

    PLAYSTATION 2 EYETOY

    The EyeToy was a digital camera device for the PS2, not unlike a webcam, that was used by players to interact with games using motion, gestures, and sound (it also had a microphone). Obviously, this sort of thing was a precursor towards later efforts like Kinect and Move, and this is certainly more refined than say the Sega Activator, but it still ended up feeling like an extraneous product that wasn’t needed.

    There were only a few dozen titles for the device, most of them recycling the same idea over and over again, and technical limitations on the camera (such as since the camera had to be able to “see” you, the games needed to be played in a well-lit room) held it back from being a mainstay peripheral on the popular system.

    RESIDENT EVIL 4 CHAINSAW CONTROLLER

    Available for both the Gamecube and the PS2 so that you can assault your gaming senses across different platforms, the chainsaw controller might be one of the most clearly ill-designed products that had no business existing.

    Retailing for an overblown $50.00, the peripheral was clearly meant for the die-hard Resident Evil fans and ignorers of great controls.

    Look, I can see what’s going on here. I know it’s suppose to be cool and make you feel like you’re the spooky chainsaw-wielding Ganado from the game, and the design behind the chainsaw is really quite “pretty” in fact. It’s even built in a way that you’d hold it like you would an actual chainsaw. Isn’t that cool? Isn’t that more important than it handling like a functional game controller? The button placement is flawed, where it’s downright impossible to have access to all the controls without changing your grip, and some of the joysticks are even inverted in a weird, confusing decision.

    The PS2 version manages to be even gaudier with a big hunk of debris connected to the thing, because if this there’s one thing you want for a game that’s reflex-heavy, it’s extraneous stuff tied to your controller.

    KATANA: THE SOUL CONTROLLER

    Almost making the Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller look like a practical, restrained gaming device, this peripheral attempted to cram a PlayStation 2’s button set on the skinny side of a sword.

    The device was released in conjunction with Onimusha 3, expecting to storm the shelves, but it barely made an impact on anyone.

    The big selling point, besides the fact that the thing looks like a fricking sword, is that swiping the thing acts as your go-to attack button. There are some rudimentary motion controls in place here so it can feel like you’re actually hacking and slashing people to death, while you try and navigate your way around the otherwise cluttered control scheme.

    It’s also worth mentioning that the controller retailed for over $150, but isn’t somewhat realistic sword swinging worth that?

    TRANCE VIBRATOR

    The trance vibrator was produced primarily for the trance-y rhythm game, Rez, however, the device was tragically not produced for the Dreamcast, but only for the PlayStation 2’s release of the game.

    The peripheral was meant to work by pulsing in conjunction with the bass-heavy music that the title features, producing a vibration of more power than the Dual Shock.

    The device claimed that it was supposed to be used in your pocket to pick up the rhythms, but the very fact that the product has “vibrator” in its name and comes with a hygienic sleeve pretty much confirms otherwise.

    The vibrator also worked with Sega’s Space Channel 5: Part 2, but two titles is hardly a library.

    ASCII KEYBOARD CONTROLLER

    I really don’t even need to say anything here, do I?

    This disaster was to be used with Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1 & 2, a title that’s popped up a number of times here, appearing to be more trouble than its worth.

    Yes, this thing will let you use a full ASCII keyboard while you play your game on the Gamecube, but it’s virtually impossible to be comfortable with this thing, as your hands try and balance the monstrosity.

    There’s a reason that keyboards and controllers are two separate things, and trying to meld the two here only illustrated this point more strongly.

    TONY HAWK: RIDE SKATEBOARD

    As you can probably imagine, this device was used with Tony Hawk: Ride, using infrared sensors to detect your movements on the board, replicating it in the game. The problem was, as this title and skateboarding games, in general, began to move in their twilight, a buggy board with quite the high price tag wasn’t winning anyone over.

    The amount of precision with the peripheral was hard to master, and it hardly seemed worth deviating from the standard, already slick control scheme. Feeling more like a relic from a previous generation when gameplay was less than it was now, the device failed to impress most gamers.

    WII BOWLING BALL

    Remember that first time you tried out bowling in your copy of Wii Sports? You gracefully pulled your arm back, moved it forward, and a bowling ball seemingly stemmed from your arm, just like you were in an alley. A process as smooth as this was refined enough from the start that adding an extraneous bowling ball to everything was the last thing that was needed.

    If anything, this addition shatters the illusion to an extent; getting in your way and forcing reality into your experience when you just want your mind off of all of this.

    Furthermore, wedging your Wiimote into the plastic bowling ball lost you precision if anything. If you just stuck with the standard Wiimote, you’d be saving money and bowling a better game.

    WII INFLATABLE KART

    And if an unnecessary bowling ball you’re putting your controller into for the Wii is a waste of time and money, then this is really going above and beyond in the “why?” category.

    It’s a blow-up go-kart that you sit in while you play Mario Kart Wii. Because we’re apparently at a point where if we’re not holding a mock steering wheel and sitting in a mock vehicle, it’s impossible for our brains to reconcile that we’re playing a racing game. 

    WII CAR ADAPTER

    Trying to fit systems and a pleasurable setup for them in a vehicle is usually a losing battle, but trying to do it with a motion-controlled system is just bonkers. Waggling your arms in a cramped, moving vehicle is a very backward idea, to the point that you wonder how this even got greenlit.

    So there you have it, and after examining all of these surprising, pointless endeavors that our favorite companies spent a lot of money on in some cases, it kind of makes you more grateful for some of the truly innovative, stellar peripherals and systems that have come around.

    Sure, there are flaws occasionally, firmware updates, and elements that will make us scream in frustration, but we’ve come a long way to give gamers what we want, and at least we’re not in a world where our go-to standards are the NeGcon and the Steel Battalion Controller.


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    The legendary developers behind Painkiller and Bulletstorm are working on a high-profile action game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 16, 2018

    People Can Fly, the developers of Bulletstorm and Painkiller, are developing a new shooter alongside Square Enix. 

    This news comes as part of the announcement that People Can Fly are opening two new studios; one in the UK and one in Poland. Those two studios will be working alongside the developer's original studio in Poland to develop a "AAA shooter alongside Square Enix." While PCF claims that over 150 people are working on that IP, they do not share any additional information about the game at this time. 

    That's a shame, but the news that PCF is working on a new shooter is good enough for now. It's actually been quite some time since we've seen a new shooter from the studio. They burst onto the scene with 2004's excellent Painkiller and went on to develop the high-profile PC port of Gears of War just three years later. They then worked on Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and the excellent Bulletstorm with Epic as co-developers. 

    Epic eventually acquired PCF and asked them to develop Gears of War: Judgement in 2013. Since then, though, PCF hasn't released a high-profile new game. They worked on Fortnite with Epic - which is certainly another feather in their cap - but it's been too long since the studio has produced a truly new game of their own much less an IP. There were rumors they were working on a game called Come Midnight, but that project was canceled around the same time that publisher THQ went under.

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    It's not clear exactly how Square Enix fits into the Epic and People Can Fly partnership as it relates to this upcoming project, but the fact that PCF referred to it as an IP as part of the announcement of their new studios suggests that it's safe to think of this upcoming game as primarily being their personal project. 

    That's a good thing considering that PCF is one of the best action developers in the business today. Their games exemplify the kind of over-the-top gunplay that the best pure action games feature, and the studio's ability to creatively push the limits of the genre is unmatched. We hope to hear more about this game at E3 2018.


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    A Nintendo fan and software engineer is working on adding the Super Nintendo library to the Nintendo Switch.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 16, 2018

    A hacker is trying to bring a more traditional Virtual Console system to the Nintendo Switch. 

    Recently, a software engineer and Nintendo fan named Sam Breadman took to Twitter to share a video that shows him using his Nintendo Switch as a Super Nintendo emulator. The original Tweet has since been removed, but the YouTube video above shows the progress he has made. While the Super Nintendo games themselves are not yet fully functional, the program's UI is accessible and Breadman believes he will be able to implement playable games, save states, and other features sometime next month. 

    Why is Breadman doing this when Nintendo announced that they plan on rolling out classic games on Switch as part of their upcoming online subscription service? It's because he doesn't think Nintendo is giving fans what they really want. 

    “I just wanted an authentic SNES Classic or NES Classic experience so I can take out my Switch, give a Joy-Con to a friend and play some games,” said Breadman in an e-mail to Kotaku. "Nintendo is rather tone-deaf in this situation. If they aren’t going to provide a proper solution, I am. Or someone else will. That’s why I love homebrew so much. Doing what Nintendo doesn’t. I never understand their business decisions.”

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    Breadman goes on to state that he disagrees with the idea that the ability to access classic titles should be tied to a monthly subscription service. He also laments having to purchase a new copy of certain classic titles every time that Nintendo releases a new console. His homebrew design is something of a workaround for those annoyances. 

    As you can probably tell, Breadman's program is in no way supported by Nintendo. It's also not the only program out there trying to turn the Switch into a more robust emulator. It's hardly a surprise that people are trying to find an easier way to play classic Nintendo games on the Nintendo Switch given that Nintendo hasn't been entirely clear on the extent of their official policies regarding the Switch's functionality in that respect. 

    With any luck, you'll eventually be able to easily access a suite of classic Nintendo games via the Nintendo Switch. Otherwise, programs such as Breadman's may be your best alternative. 


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    We might finally get a sequel to the cult classic shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but don't get your hopes up yet.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 16, 2018

    A sequel to the 2007 shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is reportedly in development.

    That news comes from Sergiy Grygorovych (owner of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developer GSC) who took to Facebook with a post that reads "Today 15.05.2018 I officially declare: GSC GAME WORLD DEVELOPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2." That same post includes a link to a website for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. that includes the game's logo and the year 2021 (which seems to be the game's projected release date). 

    That sounds pretty official, but there's another side to this story that casts serious doubt on whether this game is actually being made or if it will ever be released. First off, the operational status of developer GSC Game World is questionable. The studio dissolved in 2011 and many of its former employees went on to form 4A Games (developers of the Metro series) and Vostok Games. Before that happened, though, Sergiy Grygorovych made a public declaration that GSC was working on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. He claimed the game would be released in 2012. Obviously, that didn't come to pass. 

    While GSC Game World re-opened in 2014, the only project the studio has released is a strategy game called Cossacks 3 which was met with a decidedly mixed reception. The point here is that GSC seemingly no longer employees many of the same people who worked on the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise and that Sergiy Grygorovych has made claims regarding his intentions to develop a sequel to the series before that amounted to nothing.

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    What's the takeaway from all this? At the moment, we believe it's fair to say that Sergiy Grygorovych wants to develop S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and likely has people working on such a project. However, the highly informal nature of this announcement and the distant release date of 2021 are both troubling omens in regards to the project's chances of actually being released. 

    We're rooting for a sequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but at the moment, we'd advise that you consider this announcement to be a slightly more advanced form of a rumor. 


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    League of Legends players will soon be able to participate in a regular series of three day tournaments.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 16, 2018

    Riot Games is formally introducing a new tournament mode to League of Legends called Clash

    Clash is essentially a way for Riot to allow League's non-professional players to participate in a professional-style tournament. Every other weekend, Clash mode will open and allow for players to enter a three-day tournament. The mode is open to players from all skill levels, but it's not entirely clear how the overall ranking of teams with players from multiple skill levels will be calculated. However, Riot did mention higher-rated players affecting a team's overall ranking.

    What we do know is that Clash team creation will open on May 21st. At that time, players will be able to submit their teams of five for the first Clash tournament that begins on May 25th. You can even pick a team name and logo. The only catch here is that you'll have to purchase a ticket in order to submit a team for play. Tickets can be bought from the store or earned from completing weekly missions. Once you're entered, teams will be able to pick one of two possible start times for the first round of competition that Friday while the other matches will occur at a pre-determined start time. 

    Once matches begin, teams will be able to see their opponent's hero picks and begin the ban phase. Teams will be able to play a minimum of two games for every day of the tournament that they participate in due to the use of a consolation bracket that losing teams are sent to. As for the winning teams, they'll be rewarded with various in-game prizes, but Riot hasn't revealed the full range of specific prizes teams will be able to win or how they will be distributed. What we do know is that players will earn victory points with every win that can be used to unlock banners that show up on Summoner's Rift. You'll also earn a Clash Capsule just for participating that contains an XP boost as well as an in-game reward that is based on how far you made it. 

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    Overall, this mode sounds like an exciting addition to League of Legends. While the mode itself will rely heavily on the quality of the in-game matchmaking, it's nice to see developers find ways to translate the atmosphere and fun of competitive gaming to their in-game clients. 

    With any luck, this idea will become a success and more games that don't already have their own version of it will begin to incorporate variations of the idea. 


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    The sleeper hit racing series Project CARS is making the move to mobile.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 16, 2018

    Project Cars is set to receive a mobile spin-off titled Project CARS GO.

    Details on the game are few and far between at this time, but we do know that Project CARS GO is being developed by mobile game developer Gamevil and Slightly Mad Studios (the developers of the previous Project CARS games). Speaking about the mobile title, Slightly Mad's CEO Ian Bell had the following to say:

    "Project CARS GO will put players in the driver's seat to experience the adrenaline pumping racing game in a whole new way. The racing genre has a large, dedicated fan base, who are going to be stomping the gas pedal and burning rubber very soon."

    As for how Project CARS GO will live up to Bell's hype...well, that's very much up for debate. Neither Slightly Mad or Gamevil has disclosed any formal details about the mobile title's gameplay or even given any basic indication of how the racer will play. As for the "very soon" comment, we're going to have to take Bell's word on that as nobody has shared an official release date or release window.  

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    The sudden return of Project CARS, even as a mobile game, is quite surprising. The original title received decent reviews, but it was also criticized for its bugs and for the mechanical failures of its admittedly fascinating progression and leveling systems. However, others praised the game for its dedication to providing an authentic experience despite the game's shortage of high-end vehicle licenses. Project CARS 2 improved upon the original's best aspects, but it also suffered from technical problems.

    If we had to guess, Project CARS GO will likely continue to emphasize the series' realistic driving standards even if the developers do need to scale back some of the original games' more ambitious elements in order to make that happen. However, we expect to hear more concrete details about the game in the near future. 


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    What we know about Quake Champions, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 17, 2018

    Quake Champions is the latest installment in the classic FPS series. This title appears to be a follow-up to the infamous Quake III: Arena as it attempts to revive the arena shooter genre that classic game helped to popularize. Bethesda is promising a pure Arena-style shooter experience with a special emphasis on interesting characters and creating an equal playing field for all levels of fraggers. 

    From the trailers released thus far, it is clear that this new Quake is focused on providing the same brand of lightning-fueled rapid chaos that made Arena one of the most popular games of its generation. While Bethesda's presentation suggests that the team will be taking cues from the open, character-driven style of Overwatch, gameplay footage showcases an arena battleground that is unmistakably worthy of the Quake name. 

    Here's everything else we know:

    Quake Champions Release Date

    Quake Champions doesn't have a release date as of yet.

    Speaking with GameSpot, studio director Tim Willits revealed that id hasn't ruled out a console release for Quake Champions, which is currently only slated for PC. Said Willits, "It's a PC game. No excuses. No limitations. We're going to focus on one platform," but he added that he "love[s] [his] console fans. "We're not totally shutting the door on consoles." 

    Willits teased the game won't officially launch until after it's gone through a long beta period. Willits clarified, "It's going to come out after a really, really long closed beta. I'm telling people now, it's going to be a long beta."

    Quake Champions Trailer

    Strogg, the main bad guy from Quake II and IV, is making his way to Quake Champions in an upcoming April update. Accompanying him will be his sentient drone, Peeker. You can check out the story intro for this dynamic duo by checking out the video below:

    Bethesda revealed at E3 2017 that Wolfenstein protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz will join the Quake Champions' roster. You can check out all the footage from the E3 presentation - including previews of some of the game's new maps - via this trailer:

    Just in case you weren't convinced that Quake Champions will provide the same essential Quake multiplayer experience you know and love, Bethesda has released what they call a raw gameplay trailer which simply shows player footage from a match in progress. The speed is intoxicating.

    Here's the first gameplay trailer:

    Bethesda uploaded a video to their YouTube page in which Studio Director Tim Willits breaks down the design process of Quake Champions and explains how the game is both a classic Quake shooter and an attempt to modernize some of the title's trademark elements by incorporating some recent advancements in the genre. Of particular note are the heroes and skills he reveals that give us a better idea of how Quake Champions' characters will differ from one another. 

    Take a look: 

    Check out the game's first trailer below:

    Quake Champions Details

    Quake Champions will be a free-to-play game. 

    Well...kind of.

    "At its core, it’s a free-to-play game,” says Willits, "with the option to buy the Champion Pack and just get in and play with all the Champions. There are a number of Quake players that just want to play their Quake, right? And they are familiar with the business model of our previous games, and they are totally fine. ‘I want to buy the game. I want to start playing. I want to have access to all the Champions.’"

    What that means is that players who purchase the game will gain access to all of Quake Champions' characters while those free-to-play players will be able to use in-game currency to gain access to new Champions for a limited period of time. It's not clear how long you will be able to access purchased Champions via the latter method, but Willits did say that he doesn't want to use the word "rent" in regards to the nature of the transaction.

    Players on both sides will have the chance to use in-game currency on other unlockables such as rune challenges and skins. Additionally, free-to-play and paid players will compete in the same brackets on the same maps using the same weapons. At this time, it appears the only potentially meaningful gameplay concept that requires currency are the characters themselves. 


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    This very special Xbox controller is designed to accommodate for a variety of needs.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 17, 2018

    Microsoft has revealed a new controller that is designed to help gamers with limited mobility play the games they love. 

    The Xbox Adaptive Controller has apparently been in the works for years according to a Microsoft blog post written by Phil Spencer. There, the head of Xbox explained the simple - yet meaningful - purpose of this controller. 

    "For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging," said Spencer. "The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. A number of individuals and organizations are creating custom solutions, but it has been often difficult for them to scale when most rigs need to be so personalized."

    The hope is that this adaptive controller will offer a nearly universal solution to those who aren't able to easily use traditional controllers. The key to making the controller work is its versatility. The adaptive controller is able to support a number of accessories that are designed to accommodate a variety of needs. In the words of Microsoft, the idea is that you'll be able to use it whether you can only use one hand, a hand and a foot, or even a hand and a shoulder. 

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    It's really a pretty brilliant piece of design that you at least have to appreciate from a technical standpoint even if you don't personally have a use for it or do not know anyone who does. The adaptive nature of this controller is incredibly thorough and brings to mind the intuitive design seen in the highly-regarded Xbox One Pro Controller. 

    Of course, this controller will be most popular among those who need it most. While it remains to be seen whether or not the Adaptive Controller really can accommodate such a wide variety of possible needs, the fact that Microsoft worked with charities such as SpecialEffect (which helps people with disabilities play video games) when designing and testing this controller does bode well for its overall effectiveness. 

    The Adaptive Controller is expected to retail for $99 in the U.S. There is no word on its international release date or price point. 


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    Cyberpunk 2077 will likely be shown at E3 2018. Here's everything else we know about the game!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 17, 2018

    Cyberpunk 2077 will be CD Projekt Red's first game outside The Witcher universe, and its first foray into science fiction. Based on the Cyberpunk series of tabletop games, it is, as its name suggests, inspired by the pioneers of the cyberpunk subgenre - namely William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. We can therefore expect plenty of cyborgs, AI, benighted cities, and scary corporations.

    While Cyberpunk 2077's very different in setting from The Witcher, we'll see the same mature themes and unforgiving difficulty level in this new outing.

    "The Witcher helped Cyberpunk quite a bit, because the game got so big and so complex that it really taught us,” visual effects artist Jose Teixeira told MCV. “If anything, working on The Witcher 3 was a really good and often brutal learning experience. Cyberpunk is going to benefit greatly from it. I can almost guarantee it."

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Cyberpunk 2077 News

    CD Projekt Red is a confirmed attendee at E3 2018. A preview of the E3 director suggests they will be showcasing an RPG that will likely be Cyberpunk 2077. However, that hasn't been confirmed at this time. 

    Cyberpunk 2077 Release Date

    Cyberpunk 2077 doesn't have a release date at the moment. The game is coming to XBO, PS4, PC.

    Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer

    It's been three years since developer CD Projekt Red debuted the trailer for their upcoming adaptation of Cyberpunk 2077, and you'd have a hard time using what we've learned about the game in the meantime as breadcrumbs to trace your way back to that reveal. Considering that CD Projekt Red was still hard at work putting the finishing touches on The Witcher 3 during much of that time, many gamers didn't think much of their radio silence. Now that The Witcher 3 is well and truly done, however, some are starting to worry that the game isn't as far along as they may have hoped. 

    Here's the first teaser trailer from 2013:

    Cyberpunk 2077 Details

    Adam Kiciński, president of CD Projekt Red, recently shared a little more information about Cyberpunk 2077

    Along with the usual comments regarding how Cyberpunk 2077 is a very technologically ambitious game, Kiciński stated that the team is theoretically "ready to interface with future generations" of gaming hardware. He also noted that the game will allow players to create their own characters and choose between various character classes. Previously, it had been suggested that the game wouldn't utilize RPG character classes. 

    While Kiciński noted that the team is focused on delivering a single-player experience above all, he did note that the team is still interested in utilizing some kind of online component. Kiciński wouldn't confirm, though, whether or not the studio is considering adding some kind of competitive multiplayer mode to the game or something a little different. However, the team does not plan to add any microtransactions to the game if it does end up featuring some kind of multiplayer option. 

    Finally, it doesn't sound like there are any plans in place for a Switch version of Cyberpunk 2077. Sorry, Nintendo fans. 

    CD Projekt Red also spoke briefly about the scope of the upcoming sci-fi RPG at a seminar (via PCGamer). As the developer has said before, Cyberpunk 2077 will be much bigger than The Witcher 3, which is itself a HUGE fantasy RPG.

    "Cyberpunk is our new Witcher 3, but even more ambitious," CD Projekt CEO Adam Kicinski said. "Our goal is to establish a new blockbuster franchise from the beginning. We work [in a] new universe, futuristic universe. We believe it's very appealing to players, not only RPG players — but this is [a] true RPG, like Witcher, like Witcher 3, for mature audiences. It's handcrafted, detailed, of course, open-world, with open-ended gameplay.

    Additional rumors have emerged which suggest that Cyberpunk 2077 might take place in a "living city" that functions on its own accord regardless of whether or not the player is actively involved in a certain area or not. The actions of this city will apparently be governed by a complex series of AI rules that will allow for developer CD Projekt Red to maintain the illusion of a truly dynamic world.  

    Furthermore, Cyberpunk 2077 may very well feature a complex multiplayer mode that involves the use of several technological tools and grants the developers have apparently applied for. When PC Gamer reached out to the developers for comment, they were told that CD Projekt Red have been applying for such tools but are not able to elaborate on their functionality at this time. 

    In a post on CD Projekt Red's forums, the developers not only assured fans that the game is still being worked on, but revealed a rather shocking figure concerning the resources they are pouring into it. 

    According to the forum post made by the development team, there are "more game developers working on Cyberpunk 2077 than on The Witcher 3 in its most intensive month." While the developer didn't reveal the exact number of developers currently working on the game, previously revealed figures regarding the development of The Witcher 3 suggest that the game was worked on by over 240 staff developers and over 1,500 people in general. 

    Interestingly enough, the careers page of CD Projekt Red's website suggests that they are still looking to fill somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 positions devoted exclusively to the development of Cyberpunk 2077.

    While it's clear that the developer's work on the upcoming standalone Gwent game isn't hindering their focus as it concerns completing Cyberpunk 2077, there is a bit of bad news that accompanies this information. We still don't know exactly when Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be released, and its absence from last year's E3 suggests that it's not likely to debut until sometime after E3 2018 at the very earliest.

    Either way, it's still very likely that you've got enough uncompleted side missions in The Witcher 3 to keep you occupied until the game debuts.

    Cyberpunk is far bigger than anything else that CD Projekt Red has done before,” visual effects artist Jose Teixeira told MCV. “Far, far bigger. We're really stepping into the unknown in terms of complexity and size and problems we encounter.”

    Following a statement by developer CD Projekt Red regarding Cyberpunk's online elements and their "games as a service" approach, the studio has stepped forward to clarify that they do not currently intend to add microtransactions to the game. 

    "Worry not," reads a post on the studio's Twitter account. "When thinking CP2077, think nothing less than TW3 [The Witcher 3] — huge single player, open world, story-driven RPG. No hidden catch, you get what you pay for — no bullshit, just honest gaming like with Wild Hunt. We leave greed to others."

    It's still unclear what the games as service comment applies to, but it could just be a comment related to the possibility that Cyberpunk may feature expanded online modes. That makes sense given that the game is based on modern and futuristic technology as opposed to The Witcher 3's fantasy setting. 


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    Everything you need to know about the World War Z game, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 17, 2018

    While it's a little late to the party, there is a new game based on World War Z in the works. From what we can tell, this game seems to be based on the book or the general property rather than the World War Z film. That's probably for the best given that the film made some pretty serious departures from the original content. It also wasn't very good.

    This adaptation of World War Z will be helmed by Saber Interactive, the team behind Quake Champions and TimeShift. It's described as a four-player co-op action game (no word on whether four players will be required) that requires players to navigate a series of major locations across the globe and escape the zombie hordes. 

    Escape seems to be the word of the day here. As it stands, it seems like this game will emphasize survival and evasion through things like traps and utilizing environmental elements to your advantage. This doesn't seem to be exactly like a Left 4 Dead type experience where you just blast through hordes with your other survivors. Instead, there appears to be more of an emphasis on pure horror and strategy. 

    Of course, that's all a bit speculative at this early point considering that we really haven't seen actual footage from the game. However, Saber Interactive did state that the missions themselves will heavily emphasize the "unique survivor stories" of your companions and that there will be action set-pieces here and there. So while it walks like Left 4 Dead, and talks like Left 4 Dead, we're going to guess that this game will find ways to distinguish itself from that legendary franchise. 

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    World War Z Release Date

    There's no word on this game's release date. However, we do know that that World War Z will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC when it does hit shelves.


    World War Z Trailer

    Here's the first trailer:



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    Xbox Call of Duty gamers reportedly barely touch the series' campaigns.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 17, 2018

    A new report suggests that the majority of Xbox Call of Duty players don't make it to the halfway point of a Call of Duty campaign. 

    Statistics gathered from TrueAchievements - which charts information related to the achievement completion percentages among Xbox gamers - reveals that the most thoroughly played Call of Duty campaign since the release of Call of Duty 2 was Modern Warfare 3. That campaign was completed by 25.67% of the people who played it (74.01% of players completed the basic training area). Using a metric that accounts for "the average percentage of unlocked story-line achievements for gamers that have started the game," that means that Call of Duty 3 enjoys a 35.91% story participation average. 

    What's truly shocking is how few people apparently finished the brilliant Modern Warfare campaign (one of the greatest first-person shooter campaigns ever made). The numbers are apparently even more incredible when you look at the total completion percentage of Call of Duty games. While those numbers were not disclosed in full in this particular article, it seems that only 22% of Xbox gamers finished Call of Duty: WWII's campaign. 

    TrueAchievements also compare the story participation average of the Call of Duty franchise with that of other popular game franchises. CoD ranks higher than the Falloutseries but loses to games like Halo, Battlefield, Batman Arkham, and Gears of War.

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    The reason that this story is making the rounds at the moment certainly has something to do with the rumors related to Black Ops IV's reported lack of a single-player campaign. Given that the Black Opsseries has one of the lowest campaign completion percentages, it's not hard to see why Black Ops developers might abandon the idea of campaigns entirely. 

    So how much do these numbers matter? That depends on how you read them. First off, this only accounts for Xbox gamers. It's entirely possible that these numbers are different for PC gamers and PlayStation 4 gamers (even though it's doubtful they are drastically different). Also, there's not necessarily a correlation between the completion percentage of campaigns and how the presence of a campaign helps sell a game. 

    Still, it does seem that there are quite a few people out there who don't bother to see the end of the average Call of Duty story. 


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    Cliff Bleszinski has revealed some of the ideas that Boss Key never had the chance to formally develop.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 17, 2018

    Cliff Bleszinski revealed art and details from some of the projects that the now-defunct Boss Key Productions had contemplated working on. 

    The first is a lovely piece of concept art from a game that Bleszinski had codenamed "DragonFlies." According to Bleszinski, the game would have seen you play as "ninja/samurai in airships riding dragons" who fight zombies in PvE scenarios. Most areas would have been set on flying islands, which means that the airships would have served as a kind of aircraft carrier and the dragons would have been spiritually equivalent to planes. 

    Bleszinski goes on to claim that he wanted the game to "do for dragon riding what Halo did for vehicles." He even claims that players would have been able to find and raise dragon eggs. Bleszinski also mentioned the controversial PlayStation 3 exclusive Lair as one of the games that DragonFlies would have ideally improved upon.

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    It seems that BossKey had also floated the idea of working on a VR project that they referred to as "Rover" but considered releasing under the name of DogWalkers. "Dog" may have also been used as an acronym for "Destructive Ordinance on the Ground." The game itself would have seen players work together to operate a large mechanical walker and do battle against other teams controlling their own giant mechs. We're a little sad that one never came to pass. 

    Finally, Bleszinski revealed another VR game that was described as a spiritual successor to Toobin. Titled Donuts, this game would have boasted a colorful and cute style that was designed to "fight Seasonal Affection Disorder." The idea for the game is described as "Mario Kart on water with animals in VR." You've got to love the simplicity and bluntness of that description. 

    Bleszinski emphasizes that these ideas were not his alone and that they represent a lot of people's hard work and creative talents. As for why these projects never saw the light of day, he noted that a general problem with pitching ideas to publishers is that you're either often told that your idea is too similar to an existing project or that it's too unique to be marketed and financed properly. That said, we really do hope that someone picks up that DogWalkers idea. 


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    The Outlast team are preparing fans for a departure from what they've done before.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 17, 2018

    Red Barrels, developers of the horror franchise Outlast, say that their next game is going to be quite different from any that they've made before. 

    "If you'd told me a year ago that the project we're currently working on was going to be our next thing, I would have said, 'Nah, I don't think so'," said Red Barrels co-founder Philippe Morin at the Berlin's Quo Vadis conference. "It's an internal struggle. On the one side you have to stay motivated as a developer, but at the same time we have to think about stuff as company owners. That's why it took us several months to find the sweet-spot between doing something that's going to please the fans, and something that we're driven by personally. In big studios, they can say, 'If you're burnt out we can always give the IP to a different team'. But that's not the case here."

    Morin doesn't go into details regarding what the studio is working on next, but he did mention that the team is currently considering the project's potential budget. On that note, he stated that the original Outlasthad a budget of just over $1 million and that Outlast 2's budget was about five times that. He doesn't say whether or not their next game is going to be even more expensive than their previous one, but he does note that the revenue potential of that game is being considered alongside the developer's interest in the project itself. 

    "I always tell the team that, since the studio is owned by developers, our interests as developers is as important as our interests as shareholders," said Morin. "We don't want to change that."

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    It's easy enough to assume from those quotes that Red Barrels' next game is not going to be a strict Outlast title, but anything beyond that must be considered purely speculative at this time. Having said that, the nature of these quotes suggest that the team might be considering moving beyond the horror genre for their next title. That would certainly be quite the departure from their previous efforts, but it wouldn't be unheard of. 

    We'll bring you more on Red Barrels' next game as information becomes available. 


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    Everything we know about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, including the release date, trailer, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 17, 2018

    Activision has confirmed that the next Call of Duty game will be Black Ops 4. The publisher has promised to reveal more information about the game on May 17 during a live stream event. What we do know is that veteran CoD studio Treyarch is developing the game.

    Some reports suggest that Treyarch is even working on a Switch version of Black Ops 4. Whether or not that version of the game will launch alongside the other versions of Black Ops 4 has not been confirmed at this time. There are also reports that Black Ops 4 might be available via Battle.net. 

    It makes sense that the next Call of Duty title would be Black Ops 4 considering the previous release schedule of recent Call of Duty games. Recently, Black Ops games have arrived on a three-year release schedule and it has been three years since the last Black Ops title. Furthermore, the Black Ops games have historically sold quite well in comparison to even the "main" games in the Call of Duty franchise.

    What is somewhat surprising is the rumored notion that Black Ops 4's setting may be impacted by the negative reception to recent Call of Duty titles. Historically, the Black Ops games have kind of marched to their own beat. As such, it's admittedly odd to consider that the next installment in the franchise may adopt a more crowd-pleasing setting and tone. Of course, we have no doubt that some of the trademark weirdness of Black Ops series will live on regardless of the era this game happens to take place in. 

    Here's what else we know about the game:

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Trailer

    The first multiplayer trailer has arrived and it showcases all the explosive online combat action you should expect in this new installment. Check it out below:

    You can watch the very first teaser trailer below:

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Release Date

    Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 4 will arrive on Oct. 12, 2018. It's coming to PS4, XBO, and PC.


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    Here's everything that you need to know about the next Battlefield game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 17, 2018

    The Battlefield series will likely continue with the simply named Battlefield V.

    While we're waiting to hear more about the next Battlefieldgame, all reports indicate that the plan is to continue some of the things that Battlefield 1 did so well. That means a trip back to the World War-era of gameplay, an emphasis on individual campaign stories, and the same kind of large-scale warfare options that make the series as popular as it is. 

    Beyond that, there is no shortage of rumors out there regarding some of the new features that the next Battlefield will incorporate. We've heard everything from battle royale modes to a dedicated co-op campaign, but the one thing we can tell you for sure is that it certainly sounds like the Battlefield team is getting ready to deliver their biggest and deepest multiplayer shooter yet. 

    Here is what we know about Battlefield V

    Battlefield 5 News

    Comedian Trevor Noah has taken to Twitter to announce that he will help reveal the next Battlefield game. 

    Noah states that he will host the Battlefield live reveal on Wednesday, May 23. That's the same date that players discovered during the great Battlefield 1 Easter egg hunt. While he doesn't reveal the name of the game, he does end his tweet with the ominous "V EXCITING!"

    Battlefield 5 Release Date

    There's no word on Battlefield V's release date, but we should know more when the game is revealed on May 23.

    Battlefield 5 Reports

    Seemingly addressing recent rumors that the next Call of Duty game will not have a single-player mode, EA CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed that Battlefield V will have a dedicated campaign.

    "With our next Battlefield game, the team at DICE is bringing the intensity of combat to life in new and unexpected ways," said Wilson. "Every battle is unique, and every mode brings its own challenges - from the way you interact with the environment around you, to compelling single-player stories, to the next level of large-scale multiplayer that spans across multiple maps and modes."

    Wilson goes on to state that the next Battlefield game will feature be a "deep and fully-featured shooter and ongoing service" that will build upon the success of Battlefield 1 by delivering "signature gameplay and Battlefield moments that have captivated and grown our global community." 

    There are also reports that the next Battlefield game will feature a battle royale mode and a co-op mode. However, those reports have not been officially confirmed at this time. 


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    Get ready to enter a new era of Call of Duty combat with this series first Battle Royale mode.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 17, 2018

    Activision has confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will feature a battle royale mode. 

    Titled Blackout, this upcoming mode was specifically referred to as a Battle Royale experience. However, the team at Treyarch went out of their way to emphasize that this is quite unlike any other Battle Royale mode out there and certainly unlike anything that the series has done to this point. 

    Blackout will seemingly allow players to access years of Call of Duty/Black Ops history. Based on the information revealed thus far, that means that players will be able to enter the game's Battle Royale mode and use character skins from existing games in the series, weapons from previous Black Ops titles (including those featured in old zombie modes), and other items that touch upon the franchise's rich history. They even mentioned that the mode will contain air, sea, and land vehicles. 

    We fully expect that Treyarch and Activision will reveal much more about Blackout in the coming weeks and months. However, there is quite a bit about the game that we don't know based on the initial information they shared during the recent reveal stream. 

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    For instance, there have been no specific details shared regarding the mode's map. Obviously, it will need to be larger than the average Call of Dutymap to sustain the traditional 100 players that most Battle Royale games support, but then again, they also haven't confirmed that Black Ops 4's Blackout mode will support 100 players. There is also currently no information out there about how the mechanics of this mode might differ from existing Call of Duty multiplayer options (especially as it pertains to health and equipment). 

    For the moment, though, it's enough to know that those Black Ops 4 Battle Royale rumors were true and that the next Call of Duty game will get in on the genre craze. We look forward to bringing you more information about this mode as it becomes available. 


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    Mario Tennis Aces wants to bring the sports spin-off franchise back to its prime.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 17, 2018

    During Nintendo Direct announcement back in January 2018, the studio revealed Mario Tennis Aces for Nintendo Switch. 

    Mario Tennis Aces will be the first Mario Tennis game since the Game Boy Advance Tennis titles to incorporate a story mode. As anyone who played those games - or the brilliant Switch title Golf Story - knows, these sports story modes tend to be incredibly entertaining detours from the competitive play that are loaded with creative minigames. That seems to be what this new story mode is going for, but it also seems that this particular plot might abandon the tennis academy setting of previous Mario Tennis stories in favor of something a little wackier. 

    Thankfully, the story mode is expected to include those wonderful boss battles from previous titles.

    Regardless of the story's setting, we're just happy to see it return. We're also quite thrilled to see Nintendo return to Mario Tennis so quickly after 2015's Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash was met with an overwhelmingly negative reaction. Considering that the primary criticisms of that game revolved around its lack of content and innovations, we'd say that the quick reveal of Mario Tennis Ace's story mode suggests that Nintendo is aware of what went wrong and is willing to fix it.

    Here's what we know about the game:

    Mario Tennis Aces News

    The latest trailer for Mario Tennis Aces gives us our best look yet at the game's extensive adventure mode. It seems that the mode will consist of minigames and boss battles that serve to further a story about Luigi being kidnapped by diabolical forces. You know...tennis stuff. 

    Mario Tennis Aces Release Date

    Mario Tennis Aces will release on June 22. It will be playable exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.

    Mario Tennis Aces Trailer

    The March 2018 Nintendo Direct arrived with an in-depth look at the new gameplay mechanics in Mario Tennis Aces. Check out all the fun below:

    Here's the announcement trailer in case you missed it:

     


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