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    The Last of Us 2 looks to continue one of gaming's greatest stories. Here's everything we know:

    News Adam McDonnell
    Jul 20, 2018

    Yes, one of the greatest games of the previous console generation is getting a sequel. Fans hoped that Naughty Dog might find a way to return to the world of The Last of Us, but the nature of the original game's ending left some to speculate that the developers had said all there was to say about the adventure of Ellie and Joel. 

    It's not entirely clear exactly what the story will be this time around, but the ominous and fearful tone of Ellie's looming threats suggest that this will be a story of revenge. The recipient of said revenge seems to be fairly obvious based on context clues in the trailer, but in the interest of not completely outlining the ending of the original game, we will not speculate on their identity here.

    Speculation is all we have as it concerns the release date for The Last of Us Part II, however. It appears that the game is still very much in development, which means you shouldn't hope to see it before late next year at the earliest. Neil Druckman, the title's creative director, took to the PlayStation Blog to clarify that the eventual release of the game could be "a ways off," and to assure fans that Naughty Dog is only making a sequel to this game because they feel they have a new story that is worth telling. 

    Well, we're sold. Here's everything we know about The Last of Us Part II:

    The Last of Us Part 2 News

    At the Sony E3 2018 conference, we were treated to a brilliant and highly cinematic - also possibly very scripted - gameplay sequence from The Last of Us Part 2. Check it out now. 

    At DICE Summit 2018, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann revealed one of The Last of Us Part II's stranger inspirations.

    "There's a show on Netflix called The End of the F***ing World, which is so well written and acted and quirky, and has been totally inspiring for some of the stuff we're doing in [The Last of Us 2]—more on the dialog stuff," said Druckmann. Given that the Netflix show is about a pair of runaway teenagers who embark upon a dark quest, we're guessing that it might have somehow influenced the equally dark journey of the main characters. However, Druckmann didn't clarify the point.

    Druckmann also recalled that The Last of Us was born from a failed pitch he once submitted to George Romero. He wanted to make a game that combined elements of ICO and Sin City while telling a story about a cop with a heart problem protecting a little girl. When the cop's heart condition kicks in, the girl would need to take care of the cop and protect him from enemies. Of course, Romero passed on that pitch. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Release Date

    The Last of Us 2 doesn't have a release date as of yet. We expect Sony to reveal that information at E3 2018. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Trailer

    A brand new trailer has arrived! Check it out below:

    Next, feast your eyes on the reveal trailer for The Last of Us Part II:

    The Last of Us Part 2 Story

    At PSX 2016, Naughty Dog director and writer Neil Druckmann shared the first bits of Last of Us Part 2 story details, including what the focus will be in the sequel. Druckmann revealed that Ellie is the star of this installment and that the game takes place several years after the original. Ellie is 19-years-old in The Last of Us Part 2

    Druckmann talked a bit about the tone and direction of the sequel's story, saying that while the original was a story about love, "[Part 2] is about hate." He also confirmed that this game will exclusively continue the story of Ellie and Joel instead of jumping to other characters.

    It looks like The Last of Us Part 2 will have a couple of connections with Westworld. It's been revealed that Halley Gross, a writer on the show, will be co-writing the game's story with Neil Druckmann, who wrote the first game. 

    Additionally, Westword actress Shannon Woodward will have a role in the game. No details on her character were revealed. Her casting was revealed in a tweet:

    It's also been revealed that Bruce Straley, who directed the first game, will not return for the sequel. Instead, Druckmann will be directing the game. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Music

    Writer/director Neil Druckmann confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer of The Last of Us' wonderful score, will also create the music for the sequel. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Poster

    In celebration of Outbreak Day - the day in The Last of Us when the world fell apart - Naughty Dog has released some promotional materials and free items related to the game. You can read a full breakdown of the announcement (which includes information regarding a new The Last of Us t-shirt and PS4 theme) via this PlayStation blog post

    However, there is one Outbreak Day release we do have to highlight. The fine folks at Mondo have teamed up with Naughty Dog and artist Kevin Tong to release a new poster that seems to be related to The Last of Us Part 2. It's a fairly stunning design that serves as a callback to the previous Mondo The Last of Us poster and an effective teaser. 

    You can buy the poster from Mondo's website starting today. 


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    The highly-anticipated Metroid Prime 4 is finally in development. Here's everything we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 20, 2018

    After years of Nintendo dancing around fans' pleas for a new Metroid game, the studio finally decided to drop a humble reveal for one of the most anticipated games of the last ten years right in the middle of their E3 2017 showcase. What a truly Nintendo way to make such an announcement.  

    Since the announcement of this project, Nintendo has confirmed that Retro Studios will not be handling the development of this new Metroid title. Instead, they have stated that the development is being handled by a "talented new development team.”

    According to Eurogamer, that studio is none other than Bandai Namco Studios Singapore, which is collaborating with Nintendo on the new game. However, Metroid producer Kensuke Tanabe will be overseeing the development of this new title.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Metroid Prime 4 Release Date

    There is currently no release date for Metroid Prime 4. The game is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.

    Metroid Prime 4 Trailer

    On the list of games that could possibly show up at E3 2017, Metroid Prime4 ranked somewhere alongside Half-Life 3. Nevertheless, here is the first preview for Metroid Prime 4.

    Unfortunately, the reveal of Metroid Prime 4 doesn't actually tell us anything about the game itself aside from the fact that it is being worked on. However, given that most people had already given up hope that a new Metroid game would ever be released for the Nintendo Switch, we're going to go ahead and name this one of the best announcements of E3 2017. 


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    Doom Eternal is the mysterious next entry into the legendary franchise. Here's everything we know:

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 20, 2018

    At E3 2018, Bethesda revealed Doom Eternal. Based on what was revealed at the show, it sounds like this is going to be a new Doom game rather than a remaster or a remake. The Doom team talked about how they listened to what fans asked for and added more demons, a more powerful Doom guy, and a vision of what Hell on Earth looks like to this game. 

    To be fair, that doesn't mean that this is guaranteed to be a brand-new Doom game - it's not called Doom II after all - and there is a possibility that this could retread some familiar ground. At the very least, though, we feel that this has to be some kind of expansion or some piece of previously unseen content related to Doom.

    Here's everything we know about the game thus far:

    Doom Eternal News

    Bethesda has dated the gameplay reveal for Doom Eternal. We'll finally get to see what the game is all about and what the "Eternal" means. The reveal is set for Aug. 10 during QuakeCon 2018. The reveal will be part of a special live stream about the game. 

    Doom Eternal Trailer

    Check out the announcement trailer:

    Doom Eternal Release Date

    No release date has been set for Doom Eternal. The game is expected to arrive for XBO, PS4, and PC. 


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    Take on the dumb forces of good in Lego DC Super-Villains.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 20, 2018

    Lego DC Super-Villains fascinating premise begins with the sudden and unexplained disappearance of the Justice League. Not long after they vanish, a new group of "heroes" who refer to themselves as the Justice Syndicate decide to take the Justice League's place. This doesn't sit too well with the villains of the DC Universe who get the feeling that this group of heroes isn't quite as heroic as they seem to be. As such, the villains unite in order to take down the Syndicate and restore some order to their universe. 

    Along with the usual array of DC villains - and perhaps a few surprises - players will also be able to create their own DC supervillain who will serve as the centerpiece of the game's story. You'll also be able to upgrade your custom character throughout the game and expand their abilities with a variety of powers and abilities. It's not clear entirely how this character fits into the basic story premise, but it seems safe to say that we'll learn more about their role as the game's release date draws near. 

    Of course, this is still a Lego title from TT Games which means that you can expect Super-Villains to feature co-op play options, building puzzles, lots of brawling action, and a collection of classic characters that will surely take even dedicated players quite a bit of time to fully unlock.

    Here's What we know about Lego DC Super-Villains

    Lego DC Super-Villains News

    SDCC 2018 brings us a new trailer for Lego DC Super-Villains. Check it out:

    Lego DC Super-Villains Release Date

    Lego DC Super-Villains is currently scheduled to be released on October 16th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. 

    TT Games have also announced that the Season Pass content will include a post-game release that adds a host of DC TV characters to the game. That Season Pass will automatically become available to anyone that purchases the game's Deluxe Edition. Those who opt for the Deluxe Edition will also receive a Lex Luthor minifigure and the Justice League Dark DLC pack. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!

    Lego DC Super-Villains Trailers

    Here's the debut trailer for Lego DC Super-Villains:


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    Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? She'll be on Netflix in 2019.

    News Chris LongoJoseph Baxter
    Jul 20, 2018

    Carmen Sandiego will soon become easy to find on Netflix. In addition to the forthcoming animated TV series picked up by Netflix, the streamer is doubling down by greenlighting a live-action film. Gina Rodriguez is set to star in the live-action adaptation, taking on role of the titular ‘90s multimedia character.

    Don’t worry, gumshoes, Netflix plans to keep the Carmen continuity intact as Rodriguez will also voice the character in the animated series.

    In the latest news, arriving via Deadline, Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego movie has procured a writer.

    Mark Perez has been tasked to pen an adaptation script for the circuitously mysterious franchise. Perez is a screenwriter with comedy leanings, whose work was recently seen in this past February’s Game Night, which was his first theatrical effort after a long layoff from a sting of films that included 2006’s Accepted, 2005’s Herbie: Fully Loaded and 2002’s The Country Bears. The search for a director, however, is still ongoing.

    The Jane the Virgin star, Rodriguez, was also recently spotted on the big screen in Annihilation, and stars in the remake of Miss Bala due out in January.

    The Carmen Sandiego franchise began its life as video game in 1985. The fictional character, a notorious crook, ventured out into books, television, and comics. PBS animated series Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? ran for 295 episodes between 1991 and 1995. Author John Peel wrote 10 Carmen Sandiego books in the '90s. DC Comics published four issues of a Carmen Sandiego comic starting in June 1996.

    We have more info on the new Carmen Sandiego animated series here

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    Celebrate Fortnite's first birthday by...err...playing Fortnite.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 20, 2018

    Epic is throwing a little in-game party to celebrate Fortnite's first birthday. 

    July 24th marks the start of a new Fortnite event that gives players the chance to unlock special birthday-themed items by completing certain challenges. For instance, dealing 1000 damage will unlock a "Birthday!" emote while playing 14 matches nets you 5,000 XP. It also seems that you'll be able to dance in front of 10 birthday cakes spread throughout the map in order to unlock a birthday-themed spray. We're not sure how dancing constitutes a challenge in this instance, but there you have it. 

    Manage to complete all three challenges, and you'll unlock a "Birthday Cake Back Bling." Try to contain your excitement.

    On top of that, the game's Save the World mode is getting a special birthday questline that unlocks the Birthday Brigade Ramirez Hero when you complete it. You'll also find birthday llamas spread throughout the map that contain weapons and heroes from previous events. If it feels like the Save the World mode is getting a little more love than the Battle Royale mode, that's because this birthday is a celebration of when the game's Save the World mode launched. The Battle Royale portion came later. 

    Still, this is kind of a weak anniversary/birthday event for what it is - by most metrics - the worlds' most popular game. Some sprays and emotes are nice and all, but compared to the anniversary events that Overwatch has hosted, this does have a "least we could do" air about it. 

    Then again, it's not like Epic hasn't been generous with free Fortnite content until this point. The game's latest season just started and changed the dynamic of Fortnite's map fairly significantly. It also introduced quite a bit of new cosmetic content that makes up for the lack of notable additions in this birthday event. 


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    Stardew Valley's multiplayer is finally getting an official release.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 20, 2018

    Stardew Valley's long-awaited multiplayer mod finally has a release date. 

    Starting on August 1, Stardew Valley PC players will be able to participate in the official release of the game's multiplayer mode. If this sounds a bit familiar, that's because a Stardew Valleymultiplayer beta has been available for a few months now. In fact, Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone has already said that those who have been playing the beta probably won't see many differences in this final release. Mostly, this official release differs from the beta due to the inclusion of some last-minute technical fixes. 

    Unfortunately, that means that this multiplayer release will not support split-screen options. Barone went out of his way to mention that, which typically means you shouldn't expect to see that feature anytime soon. 

    If none of this sounds familiar, allow us to catch you up on thins just a bit. As you've probably figured out, this upcoming update will let you play Stardew Valley with other farmers. While the game's two-player options are fairly simple, the ability to just grow and tend a farm with someone else is really all that anyone wanted. Granted, it would have been great if that feature had shipped with the game and evolved from there, but we're sure that the multiplayer mode will be updated from here on out. 

    Of course, you will need the PC version of the game to download this update when it releases in August. There's been no mention of whether or not there are any plans to bring this feature to the console versions of the game. Given that split-screen and couch co-op don't really seem like viable options at this point, we tend to think that multiplayer might remain a PC exclusive for quite some time. 

    Still, we highly advise you to check this feature out if you haven't already. It's a great way to play a great game. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    The long-awaited Resident Evil 2 remake finally arrives in 2019.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 20, 2018

    Resident Evil 2, one of the most beloved horror games ever made, is finally receiving the modern-day remake that fans have been clamoring for ever since Capcom's exceptional remake of the original Resident Evil

    Of course, much has changed since Resident Evil 2 made its PlayStation debut, and the remake of Resident Evil 2 reflects many of those changes. Gone are the game's static camera angles and tank controls. In is an over-the-shoulder playstyle that resembles the one seen in Resident Evil 4. The game's visuals have also been updated to reflect the best technology of the modern era. 

    What hasn't changed is the original version of Resident Evil 2's brilliant horror atmosphere. Resident Evil 2 Remake retains that game's ability to scare you at will. Resident Evil 2's obscure puzzles, surprisingly deep story, and use of multiple characters also appear to have returned. What we're saying is that this looks like the modernized version of an all-time classic horror game that we've been hoping Resident Evil 2 Remake would end up being from the moment Capcom first teased it. 

    Here is everything else we know about Resident Evil 2 Remake:

    Resident Evil 2 Remake News

    A new post on the PlayStation Blog revealed a new look at Claire Redfield in the game:

    The post also details how Capcom approached redesigning one of the most beloved horror games ever made. 

    Said information includes an explanation for Leon Kennedy's controversial "young" look. Capcom explained that the goal with his new design is to better visually distinguish Leon Kennedy the rookie cop from the person he would become in later games. As for Claire's modified look, Capcom thought it would be best to build off of the image of her riding into town on her motorcycle. 

    Racoon City itself also benefits from a slightly altered design philosophy. For instance, the reason the city is covered in rain has to do with the team's desire to create a lingering sense of dread. Resident Evil 2's various creatures have also been modified to look a little more intimidating. This is especially true of the basic zombies who are far more intense than they were in the original version of the game. 

    Resident Evil 2 Remake Trailer

    Gamespot has uploaded a nearly 20-minute, uncut gameplay video for Resident Evil 2 that gives us a much better idea of what kind of gameplay to expect from this remake. Spoiler: the game still looks incredibly scary and has clearly benefited from the changes that Capcom has made to its controls and visuals. Take a look:

    The first trailer for Resident Evil 2 Remake serves as an effective teaser for a game many people thought they'd never actually see. 

    The next trailer is a bit more involved and sheds a little light on the remake's story, characters, gameplay, and how it will alter the formula of the original title. 

     

    Resident Evil 2 Remake Release Date

    Resident Evil 2 Remake is set to launch on January 25, 2019. It will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. 


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    The foggy world of Silent Hill 2 hides some fascinating features.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 23, 2018

    We already know the world of Silent Hill 2 is anything but direct, but we would never have guessed that the game contains hidden features that are just now being discovered. 

    Recently, Twitter users punk7890 and Bigmanjapan found that players can (somewhat) easily access a minimap and a save anywhere feature. In the interest of full disclosure, the minimap thing is nothing new. However, the most popular way to access it before recently has involved some kind of manipulation of the game's code. This new method allows players to access it via a simple series of button presses (assuming that they have already completed the game and received the hidden "Dog" ending). 

    If you have received that ending, you can go back into the game, set your controller type to 2, and then press Start + L2 + Square + L3. Some are saying that you might have to enter and exit the inventory screen if this input doesn't' work the first time, but it should eventually result in a minimalist map appearing in the top-right corner of the game screen. 

    More than a just cool Easter egg or programming flub, this minimap actually makes the game significantly more manageable. However, it's nothing compared to the save anywhere feature that was also recently discovered. 

    If you want to be able to save Silent Hill 2 at any time, you must also first unlock the "Dog" ending, start a new game, and enter the following series of commands: D-Pad Left + Left Analog Stick Left + Right Analog Stick Left + L2 + L1 + L3. This should allow you to bring up a save anywhere menu that will drastically cut down on the amount of backtracking and reloading required. 

    The bad news is that it appears these tricks only work with the original PS2 version of the game. That means the Xbox version, the Director's Cut, and the HD Collection seemingly don't support them. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    Nintendo is cracking down on some major ROM sites in a big way.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 23, 2018

    Nintendo has filed lawsuits against two popular ROM sites that are accused of distributing illegal ROMs of Nintendo games and violating other trademarks.  

    LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co, both of which are believed to be owned by Jacob Mathias, are the subject of a new complaint filed at an Arizona federal court. In that complaint, Nintendo outlines their stance against these ROM sites and other platformers where their games are hosted. 

    “The LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites are among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games,” says Nintendo. "Through the LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites, Defendants reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games, all without Nintendo’s permission.”

    These two sites are not only being attacked for featuring Nintendo ROMs - and other copyright infringement material - but because Nintendo sees them as a for-profit operation. That state that the "Defendants are not casual gamers but are instead sophisticated parties with extensive knowledge of Nintendo’s intellectual property and the video game industry more generally." Their suit asks for $150,000 per every illegal Nintendo ROM and up to $2,000,000 for any confirmed trademark infringements. TorrentFreak estimates that these sites could be facing up to $100 million in damages. 

    Since the suit was filed, LoveRETRO has been taken offline and LoveROMS has removed all of their Nintendo ROMs. 

    Nintendo has always been stricter than most when it comes to cracking down on ROMs, torrents, and other ways for people to download illegal copies of some of their classic games. The subject of such ROM downloading platforms has always been a source of contention amongst gamers, but the topic has reached a fever pitch in recent months. After all, Nintendo still hasn't launched a virtual console for Nintendo Switch and have been hesitant to outline ways that players might be able to download classic Nintendo games legally through an à la carte method. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    Spider-Man is shaping up to be one of the best Marvel games ever.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 23, 2018

    During an SDCC livestream, Insomniac has revealed some new details regarding their upcoming PS4 Spider-Man game. 

    According to Insomniac, they took a hard look at how Miles Morales is portrayed in the comics when trying to determine what his role is in the game. They see Morales as the ultimate Spider-Man fanboy and a vital part of Peter Parker/Spider-Man's growth. Yuri Lowenthal, who voices Spider-Man in the game, mentioned that some of the scenes featuring Morales are among his favorites, but Insomniac stated that you'll "find out on September 7th" whether or not you actually get to play Morales in the game. 

    While Insomniac is looking to the comics for inspiration when it comes to characters like Morales, that doesn't mean that they aren't willing to bend the mythology a bit. For instance, the team mentioned that their portrayal of Mary Jane will be a bit different than the one that we are used to. Players can expect Mary Jane to be a much more independent character who has her own motivations in this world. 

    The studio also noted that Black Cat will be featured heavily in the game's first DLC release, The City that Never Sleeps, and that she will be the team's own version of the character. It was even hinted that Black Cat will have a role to play in the main game before the DLC releases but no additional details were shared at this time. Insomniac also did not confirm how many DLC releases they are working on. 

    Even without DLC, you can expect Spider-Man to be a huge game. The team went so far as to say that the game features a "metric ton of stuff that nobody knows about." One little detail the team mentioned that we haven't heard of before is that Spider-Man will address people differently whether he knows them, is wearing a mask, not wearing a mask, or some combination of those situations. 

    Finally, Insomniac mentioned that they intend on releasing the best game in the studio's history, the best Spider-Man game ever, the best Marvel game ever, and what they hope will be remembered as one of the best games ever. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    Sonic Mania Plus is well worth the $30 price tag, especially if you want to play the best Sonic game in years.

    Release Date: July 17, 2018
    Platform: PS4 (reviewed), XBO, Switch, PC
    Developer: PagodaWest Games & Headcannon
    Publisher: Sega
    Genre: Platformer

    Unnecessary, egregious re-releases have become commonplace in today’s gaming industry, so much so that Bethesda felt compelled to poke fun at themselves during their annual E3 presentation for the almost comical number of Skyrim iterations they’ve released since the game launched. But Sonic Mania Plus, a refined, expanded version of last year’s digital-only release, is a welcome repackaging of what was already the definitive Sonic the Hedgehog experience, adding new wrinkles to gameplay, a handful of extra features, and retro-inspired packaging including an art book and a sleeve modeled after original Genesis box art.

    The coolest and most unique thing about the original release is that it was developed in a joint effort between Sega and select fan-hackers, whose involvement gives the game a passion-project vibe. This is as heartfelt an homage to the Sonic franchise as you could imagine, a direct continuation of the original, 2D line of games that made the character a pop-culture mainstay in the ‘90s and the only character who could rival Mario at the time. Those were Sonic’s glory days, and while the series has had a rocky go of it over the past fifteen years, to say the least, it’s safe to say that with Sonic Mania Plus, the future of Sonic is looking brighter than ever.

    New to this version of the game are two characters, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel, each of whom introduces variations to gameplay that, while not groundbreaking or transformative, are fun and do slightly enrich the game without negatively affecting the purity of the Sonic Maniaexperience. Mighty has a pound attack that’s useful for transferring your forward momentum into downward momentum, which allows you to take a more calculated speed-based approach to gameplay (he also isn’t damaged by spikes upon first contact, though you will lose rings on second impact). Ray can glide, which controls almost exactly like the cape power-up from Super Mario World. Both characters control just as smoothly as the mainline protags, their character models fit perfectly into the game’s aesthetic, and new remixed levels from the original game feature paths that cater to their unique capabilities.

    These remixed stages come in the form of the Encore Mode, a new campaign that also introduces a new way to play in which, instead of lives, you gradually assemble your cast of characters via item boxes and special tasks peppered throughout the levels. You have two characters deployed at a time and can switch between them with a simple button press, and when one dies, they’re replaced by the heroes you have left on reserve. This change-up alters the rhythm of gameplay in an interesting way, as it forces you to think carefully about which character is most effective for any given situation or obstacle. Sonic games are blistering and intense as is, but this added swap feature makes playthroughs even more hectic. A two- to four-player competition mode is also included, in which you can challenge friends to furious couch co-op races, and some boss battles have been updated to be less frustrating this time around, with visual cues added to more clearly delineate the path to victory.

    There are definitely enough changes here to warrant repeat run-throughs for those who have already mastered the original game, but don’t expect a wealth of new content -- Plus is essentially a modest DLC add-on. Thankfully, if you already own the original game, adding the new content will run you only $5, and if this is your introduction to the game, the $30 price point for the retail version is well worth every penny (plus, you get the bitchin’ packaging). The core game is an unfettered delight (particularly for fans of the original line of 16-bit and 32-bit games), retaining the series’ classic visual and gameplay style while incorporating new details that make the experience more palatable for modern audiences.

    A lot has been said about the reemergence of 16-bit, retro graphics, with most attributing the appeal to nostalgia. But perhaps more than any game this year, Sonic Mania Plus asserts that there is a certain electricity to the pixel-art style that conveys a crackling energy that you just can’t find in most modern, high fidelity games. Without an ounce of irony, I can say that this game is more visually arresting, dazzling, and inspired than any Sonic game ever made, including the 3D ones. From the color palette to the character animation to the adorable little spin Sonic does when the title screen launches, everything in this game drips with life and attitude.

    There’s a bit of warm recognition longtime fans can glean from the fact that the best-received Sonicgame in over a decade is a loving homage to the original titles. 3D entries in the franchise have always struggled to capture the frantic fun that defined the series in the beginning, but Sonic Mania Plus takes the perfect approach, largely sticking to the original recipe while adding enough new ingredients to propel Sonic into the future. Finally, the Blue Blur seems to feel comfortable in his own skin again.

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!

    4/5
    ReviewBernard Boo
    Jul 23, 2018

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    Capcom's latest remaster collection revisits the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Mega Man X series. Our review...

    Release Date: July 24, 2018
    Platform: PS4 (reviewed), XBO, Switch, PC
    Developer: Capcom
    Publisher: Capcom
    Genre: Platformer

    After more than a decade of neglect, Capcom has finally brought the Mega Man X series out of hibernation in the best way possible, with a collection of all eight games in the mainline series. But while Mega Man fans will no doubt be thrilled to have this collection for modern consoles, there are still a few odd design choices and omissions that hold this compilation back from being definitive.

    First, let’s talk about the games. You’re getting two bona fide side-scrolling classics here with the first two X games, and quite a few excellent sequels. After including the PS1 version of Mega Man X3 in 2006’s Mega Man X Collection for the PS2 and GameCube, Capcom has wisely included in the SNES version of that title and its far superior soundtrack for the Legacy Collection

    Mega Man X5 is a more divisive, but still pretty solid title that named all of its Mavericks after members of Guns N’ Roses for its original North American release. Capcom has given the Mavericks more traditional names for this collection, but if you’re already not a fan, it’s not going to change your opinion of the game.

    Then there are two frankly bad games here: X6 an X7. X6 is just a mess of some of the worst designed levels in the franchise, but at least it's functional on some level, if maddeningly frustrating (even by Mega Man standards). X7 and its ill-advised foray into 3D gameplay has aged particularly poorly and stands out as the worst game in the package. At least X8 returned the series to its 2D roots, though it’s still a shadow of the series’ early glory.

    The first six games here, released on the SNES and PS1 feature a new smoothing filter that makes the games look better than ever, but you can also remove this if you prefer the original pixelated graphics. I found it almost impossible to go back though. Load times are lightning fast on all the games, although even the filter couldn’t save the poor quality of the anime cutscenes in X4-6.

    There is a boatload of bonus features here, including an art gallery, sound test, and the “Day of Sigma” opening movie from the PSP remake of the original Mega Man X, but the real highlight is X Challenge. This mode lets you equip three Maverick powers and then battle against two Mavericks from different games in the series, such as Neon Tiger from X3 and Magma Dragoon from X4. It’s ridiculously awesome and difficult, and I want something like this in every retro game collection from now on. X Challenge alone is a reason for even the most hardcore Mega Man fans to pick up this title.

    So why isn’t this the perfect X collection?

    Well, the first issue is how it’s packaged. The collection installs as two separate games, each collecting four titles, so if you want to go back from X7to X2, you have to fully exit one game and start up another one. This also means that the two collections offer bonus features that are almost identical, which is just an odd design choice. The X Challenges actually are the same between the two titles, which is going to really annoy achievement and trophy completionists who now have to beat this ultra hard mode twice.

    Dividing the collection into two packages just reeks of something demanded by the marketing department, but even the exact benefit of this isn’t entirely clear since the $40 price point for all eight games is perfectly reasonable. This really should have been one collection of eight games.

    And while it’s hard to complain about the titles here, it would have been nice if Capcom had also included the excellent Mega Man X: Command Mission RPG and Maverick Hunter X remake of the first game, which is acknowledged in the “Day of Sigma” video. I also kind of missed Mega Man: Battle & Chase, the Mario Kart clone that was included as a bonus in the 2006 Mega Man X Collection.

    Ultimately, the Mega Man X Legacy Collection delivers almost everything a Mega Man fan could ever want from the X games, including the awesome new X Challenge mode, but the decision to divide this into two titles holds it back from retro perfection.

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!

    4/5
    ReviewChris Freiberg
    Jul 24, 2018

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    One version of the Xbox 2 may be designed exclusively for streaming.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 24, 2018

    New rumors suggest that Microsoft may release a version of the next Xbox specifically designed for video game streaming. 

    Some of you may remember those rumors that suggested Microsoft is preparing to release multiple versions of the next Xbox. Now, a report from Thurrott claims that one of those versions will be a traditional next-gen console and the other will be a streaming-only gaming device. Early information indicates that the streaming-only device will be spiritually similar to Nvidia Shield TV and other such products. 

    However, Microsoft is apparently aiming to ensure that this streaming platform is significantly more powerful than similar devices currently on the market. The goal seems to be to guarantee that the streaming version of the next Xbox is capable of achieving performance levels roughly similar to what we'll see in traditional next-gen consoles. Of course, that also means that the streaming platform will be more expensive than similar devices currently available (but it will reportedly be cheaper than the traditional version of Microsoft's next-gen console). 

    That said, the specs of either rumored model of the next Xbox consoles have not been confirmed at this time. So far as that goes, there are two likely possibilities. Either the "traditional" next Xbox is going to cost extra because of the additional hardware it requires to utilize discs or because it will feature more raw power than the streaming alternative. 

    While none of this information has been confirmed at this time, everything that we're hearing conforms with official information that Microsoft has been sharing over the last few months. Microsoft's latest financial reports revealed that the games division experienced one of their best years ever due in large part to the success of services like Game Pass and the profitability of multi-platform titles, and the company has been championing streaming more and more as of late. 

    All things considered, we'd be a little surprised if the next Xbox - which is reportedly codenamed Scarlett - didn't feature some kind of emphasis on streaming. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    Metal Gear Solid 5 just got a very surprising update.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 24, 2018

    Metal Gear Solid V just got a surprising update. 

    The game's 1.17 update is the first that MGS V has received in about a year. The highlight feature of this update is the ability to play as Quiet in FOB missions. Many of you will no doubt remember Quiet as the assassin that wears very few clothes because she apparently breathes through her skin. At least that's the explanation that Hideo Kojima went with when the first images of Quiet made their way online. 

    Not only does Quiet look significantly different from Snake, but she performs a little differently as well. Quiet is quicker than Snake, is able to reach certain high places without the need for a ladder, has access to a quick dash ability, and is able to gain an environmental camouflage ability by standing still for a certain period of time. She's also an expert with a sniper rifle and comes complete with customizable clothes and head options. 

    Outside of Quiet's playable role, this update adds some new online development weapons and items to the game. These items (which include sniper riles and a dark matter generator) continue to be developed even when you're not playing the game. You can also speed up their development by using in-game currency. On top of that, the patch includes a new difficulty level for the FOB missions as well as some minor bug fixes. 

    The ability to play as Quiet is a pretty nice get for MGS V fans, but the bigger deal is that MGS V is being updated at all. There's no guarantee that MGS Vwill continue to receive regular updates, and Konami certainly hasn't gone out of their way in the past to appease MGS fans. It's possible this is the last noticeable update that the game will receive, but there's been no official word on that subject. 

    That said, there are always those rumors regarding their potential desire to remaster previous MGSgames. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    James Ohlen reveals more about the BioWare and EA relationship.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 24, 2018

    Former BioWare employee James Ohlen, who recently left the company after 22 years, has spoken to Game Informer regarding the state of the company, its possible future, and how the EA acquisition affected BioWare's ambitions and style. So far as that goes, he was quick to shoot down the rumors that Anthem might mark the end of the EA/BioWare relationship. 

    "The more success that a studio has, the more freedom and resources that it has, so obviously BioWare wants to have success with Anthem because that will be good for the studio as a whole," said Ohlen. "However, I think EA is looking for BioWare to be a long-term part of the company. I think EA really respects what BioWare brings to it. BioWare is a lot different than all the other aspects of its business, so, even if Anthem doesn't do as well – and I think it’s going to be great – but if it doesn't do gangbusters I don't think that's the end of BioWare."

    At the same time, Ohlen hinted that the new expectations for the company may have played some small part in his decision, or other people's decisions, to leave the studio. 

    "A lot of people who have been leaving were there for 10, 15, or more years, and sometimes you just need a change," said Ohlen. "Other times, people want to get more, get back to getting their hands dirty with creative, and it's really difficult to do that when you're on a big team of 1,000 people and you're supposed to be delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue."

    Still, Ohlen is among those who are quick to shoot down the "conspiracy theories" that suggest EA has compromised BioWare in a significant way. He maintains that "BioWare's always had a lot of control over the kind of games it makes," and that Anthem being different from previous BioWare games is in-line with the different approaches that BioWare took with games like Neverwinter Nightsand Knights of the Old Republic

    Actually, the biggest takeway from the interview is that Ohlen doesn't seem to hold any grudges or harbor many regrets. His decision to leave BioWare seems to have more to do with his desire to have creative freedom regarding different kinds of projects rather any substantial concerns regarding the state of Anthem or the company. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    The Cycle comes to us from the developers of Spec Ops: The Line.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 24, 2018

    Yager Development, the studio famous for the development of Spec Ops: The Line, has announced a new game called The Cycle.

    The Cycle is a fascinating concept that falls somewhere between Destiny and a battle royale game. This first-person shooter sees up to 20 players compete in matches that will supposedly take about 20 minutes to complete. While you will be able to attack - or group up with - other players on the map, victory means more than getting the most kills or being the last player standing. 

    In fact, Yager has described The Cycle as a "competitive quester" that sees everyone trying to complete certain objectives while contending with neutral A.I. threats as well as other players. In that sense, The Cycle reminds us slightly of DayZ in that players will be required to determine friend from foe while contending with enemies that can wipe out everyone if everybody is at each other's throats. 

    Whether The Cycle will realize the potential that DayZ never fully took advantage of is another matter entirely. Based on what has been revealed thus far, it sounds like an interesting blend of genres that's success may ultimately come down to whether or not the gameplay can hit that sweet spot. We'll know more for sure when The Cycle's closed alpha hits Steam in early August. 

    Of course, the reason that most people are so excited about this game is that they have fond memories of the aforementioned Spec Ops: The Line. The Line is routinely cited as one of the greatest video game stories of all-time as well as one of the most harrowing war stories ever told in any medium. 

    While not everyone who worked on The Line is still at the company, there are reasons to believe that Yager still has some great games in them. Besides, The Cycle's concept is fascinating in and of itself. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    The Sly Cooper franchise is finally making its way to television.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 24, 2018

    The Sly Cooper animated series finally has a release date and a debut trailer. 

    According to a listing from PGS Entertainment, the Sly Cooper series will start airing on TV starting in October of 2019. The current plan is for 52 11-minute episodes to air between then and July 2020. While the trailer shows signs of the charms of the original game, the announcement that this series is geared towards a "6-10 years old audience" tends to suggest that it might not have as much appeal as the games the series is based on. 

    If you missed the initial news, Technicolor Animation Productions announced that they have teamed up with Sony to produce a television series based on the Sly Cooper game series. The series will reportedly stick quite close to the story of the games by following Sly and his band of thieves as they steal for good and try to stay one step ahead of the law. The show will supposedly also feature many famous villains and side characters from the series. 

    "There is no doubt that teenagers will be happy to rediscover their beloved game as a series, while younger kids will be charmed by the debonair raccoon and his exciting universe," said Technicolor Animation Productions' Sandrine Nguyen. 

    If you're thinking to yourself, "Wait, wasn't someone working on a Sly Cooper animated film?" then you're wondering the same question many people hearing this news are asking themselves. A Sly Cooper animated movie was announced back in 2014. Reports suggested that it was supposed to debut in 2016, but as you may have noticed, that did not happen. 

    At this time, it's still unclear whether or not that film has been scrapped in favor of an animated series or whether the two will co-exist in some way. However, given that nobody has talked about the film in quite some time, we're guessing that the show may have taken the film's place. 

    The last core Sly Cooper game was 2013's Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. There's been no word from Sony regarding any franchise sequels in development. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    Guacamelee 2 will finally arrive in August.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 24, 2018

    Guacamelee 2's release date has finally been revealed.

    You can get your hands on this long-awaited sequel starting on August 21st. The game will be available for PlayStation 4 and PC on that day, and there's currently no word regarding its availability on other platforms. In case you missed it, here's the game's debut trailer. 

    Guacamelee 2! takes place roughly seven years after the events of the first game. Our hero from the original adventure (luchador/farmer Juan Aguacate) is called into action once more when a new terror threatens to end the universe and all that jazz.

    As for what new elements this sequel brings to the table...well, it's got a whole lot more chickens than the original game. Developer DrinkBox has stated that you'll get a lot more mileage out of Juan's ability to transform into a chicken this game. That's oddly encouraging to hear given that the transformation abilities of the first game were, in retrospect, kind of underutilized. Along with more instances of being able to transform into a chicken, this sequel will afford Juan more combat abilities in that form. 

    Guacamelee 2! will also introduce a new maneuver called Eagle Boost which essentially serves as a grappling hook that allows Juan to easily bounce around levels. That ability should be especially chaotic in the game's new four-player co-op mode. 

    Otherwise, this seems to be the same Guacamelee! that won many over back in 2013. That means you can expect a lot of Metroidvania gameplay amplified by a stunning art style, an incredible gut string guitar soundtrack, and tons of personality largely derived from the game's Day of the Dead vibe and juvenile - though still funny - sense of humor. 

    There's no shortage of Metroidvania games on the indie market, but Guacamelee!'s intangibles have always made it one of the best in class. 

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!


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    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the newest expansion for the popular MMORPG. Here's how this new expansion changes the game.

    Feature Jason M. Gallagher
    Jul 24, 2018

    The 8.0 pre-patch for World of Warcraft's next expansion, Battle for Azeroth, is now live. Battle for Azeroth, which arrives on Aug. 14, is set to rekindle the classic hatred between the game's two factions, the Alliance and the Horde.

    The expansion will also bring a set of new raids and dungeons as to be expected with any new WoW expansion, but the game will also see a variety of new features introduced, some of which are already live with the pre-patch.

    Here are the 10 upcoming features for Battle for Azeroth that we're looking forward to most:

    The Stat Squish

    A central problem of long-running MMOs like WoW is that the player's numbers have to continuously get bigger and bigger in order for the player to feel more powerful. When the original game released back in 2004, player health pools topped out in the thousands of hit points. Today, everyone is running around with absolutely massive numbers on their stat sheets, many of which have climbed into the millions. Players can deal out an equally massive amount of damage and it's gotten to the point where there are so many large numbers flashing across the screen during combat that it can be hard to keep track of exactly how well you are performing.

    Blizzard first fixed this problem back with the Warlords of Draenor expansion when the first "stat squish" reduced item levels throughout the game. But that old problem of players accumulating ever-higher numbers over time never really went away and players are once again putting up some over-the-top numbers in the twilight of Legion.

    With the 8.0 patch, the game's second "stat squish" is now live, once again restoring player power to a reasonable level. We can report that combat just feels better and it's much easier to track how much damage you're pumping out, thanks to the stat squish.

    Simultaneous Worldwide Launch

    Blizzard is trying something it's never done before. Battle for Azeroth will release worldwide at the same exact time around the world. That means that while the street date is technically Aug. 14, the game will be going live at 3 pm PT on Aug. 13 if you live on the west coast. This will be the first time The Americas will launch an expansion at the same time as the European servers. We won't have to watch Twitch streams of people who are in time zones ahead of us as we wait for our own launch time to arrive. Everyone can log in and start playing together simultaneously.

    If you're worried about the servers crashing under the load, Blizzard developers have said repeatedly that the game's phasing technology that they've been working on over the last several years will allow the expansion to launch worldwide without a hiccup. Fingers crossed.

    War Mode

    Blizzard has tried multiple times to bring back classic-era world PvP and nothing has really stuck in a way that fans of the old Southshore vs. Tarren Mill battles would like. Battle for Azeroth will introduce the developer's latest attempt, and we're pretty optimistic about this one.

    War mode is essentially a toggle that will allow players to switch PvP mode on or off at will, regardless of what kind of server they are located on. Players who complete quests with War Mode turned on will reap additional rewards. Players will also have additional PvP talents that are only active during War Mode. With no flying in Battle for Azeroth until next year most likely, this could make running into a player of the opposite faction exciting and nerve-wracking again.

    Warfronts

    Warfronts are 20-player cooperative battles inspired by Warcraft 3. Players will work together to build a base, research upgrades, and work together to attack the opposing side, controlled by an AI. It's like Blizzard sat down and figured out a way to bring a RTS mode to World of Warcraft.

    One of the first Warfronts will be fought in Arathi Highlands, a classic zone that's gotten some nice visual upgrades for the expansion. Anyone who loved queuing up for Arathi Basin back in the day will probably appreciate the feel Blizzard is going for throughout the zone.

    Island Expeditions

    Players who were around during Mists of Pandaria might recall a dungeon mode called Scenarios, which involved teams of three players instead of the traditional five. Island Expeditions will bring a similar feel, with groups being tasked with plundering treasure off various islands. Your team will face off against other players or AI-controlled characters from the opposing faction and whoever can collect the most treasure, or "Azerite," will win.

    Blizzard has promised a wide variety of different islands to explore and it's nice to see the return of another kind of group content to complement traditional dungeons. The idea seems to be that the islands are randomly generated to a certain degree just like Rifts are in Diablo III, so there should be no shortage of content to play through.

    But our absolute favorite part? The AI Blizzard designed for the opposing faction is pretty good at mimicking real players. They'll even jump in the air repeatedly as they move forward, just like players who repeatedly spam their space bar while moving in dungeons or raids.

    More Allied Races

    The tail end of Legion saw the introduction of Allied Races, which introduced two new races for each side to play as. Battle for Azerothwill continue to introduce more, with Dark Iron Dwarves and brown-skinned Orcs included in the upcoming choices. Blizzard hasn't confirmed much about what other kinds of races might show up, but there's plenty of datamined info out there for those who want to take a look. Allied Races start at level 20 after a short scenario and players can earn a special set of cosmetic armor if they level the character all the way to 1110 without buying a level boost.

    Weapon Drops

    If you've been away from WoW for some time, you may not know that the game's Legion expansion focused on powering up an impressive "Artifact Weapon" throughout the duration of the expansion. In short, players have been using the same weapon for about two years now. Artifact weapons were pretty cool and bosses did drop Relics which were used to upgrade them. But after two years of using the same weapon, many players are looking forward to the thrill of having an actual weapon drop off of a raid boss again.

    The weapon slot is arguably the most powerful character slot in the game and we've missed the excitement that comes from finally getting that massive two-hander to drop after farming a boss for six weeks. That feeling will be restored by the end of the summer.

    Darnassus and Undercity Drama

    Blizzard has gotten better at storytelling as time has gone on, and there are a number of interesting plot lines that players will be exploring throughout the expansion. One of the first will include a Horde invasion of Teldrassil during the 8.0 pre-patch. We know the Horde will be burning that big tree to the ground, but we don't know who is lighting the match yet.

    The Alliance is supposed to respond by attacking the Undercity, but the exact details are also a bit hazy. Long story short, we could be looking at each faction losing a major city right at the start of the expansion. What will happen from there is anyone's guess. Blizzard is good at keeping surprises under wraps and the fact that no one is exactly sure what is going to happen over the next few weeks makes this expansion all the more exciting.

    Easier Professions

    Just like player item levels, the game's professions have become pretty bloated over time. Blizzard has made some updates to the leveling process before but Battle for Azeroth will feature a skill squish that should smooth things out considerably. Instead of having to level hundreds of points before you can start crafting Battle for Azeroth items, each expansion will have its own separate skill tier. In other words, you can start crafting Battle for Azerothcontent right away, while the gear and items from other expansions will each feature their own separate counters. Your first Battle for Azeroth item will put you at 1/150 on the counter for the new expansion, no more grinding needed.

    Legacy Loot

    If you love running old content for transmog items, you'll love the new legacy loot system. Whenever a player enters a dungeon or raid where they are 10 or more levels above the content, the dungeon or raid bosses will drop an amount of loot equivalent to what would have dropped for a full group when the content was current. That means players could earn loot for five people in dungeons and loot for 20 people after soloing a raid. The legacy loot system will also drop other gear types, like cloth dropping for a plate wearer. It will be much easier now to get the transmog gear you want and you'll also be able to collect gear for your alts on the same run.


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