eSports Genre RSS Feed | eSports on GameSkinny en Launch Media Network Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered Switch Bundle Materia-lizes Soon Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:30:22 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

2019 has been kind to Nintendo's Final Fantasy fans. It's the year when we finally saw the likes of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII Remastered on a Nintendo system.

Up to now, these two games have been digital-only on Nintendo Switch, but that's about to change with a new bundle from PlayAsia.

The company has now sweetened the pot even more: it has opened pre-orders for a two-in-one physical bundle of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII Remastered.

It's listed as an Asia-region game, but like many other physical editions of digital games, it'll feature full English language support.

As of now, the price is set at $49.99, though there's no firm date when buyers can expect their copy to ship. 


Some might be thinking back to PlayAsia's exclusive physical edition of Final Fantasy VIII Remastered that never materialized, despite being up for pre-order before the game launched.

However, this latest announcement comes from Square Enix Asia via a Facebook post, meaning we can be confident this is a real game and not something that will vanish into the mist, never to return.

As of now, there's no indication this bundled version of the two classic RPGs will end up on other systems or PC, and there is also no word whether we can expect a physical version for Final Fantasy IX, which also released on the Switch earlier in the year.

How to Unlock the Color Dungeon in Link's Awakening Switch Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:19:03 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Nintendo Switch isn't the game's first remake. It received a DX version for Game Boy Color that, obviously, replaced the black-and-white color tone of the original with vibrant color. But it also included a secret, color-themed dungeon, complete with two exclusive power-ups.

The Color Dungeon returns for Link's Awakening on Switch, but there's a bit of a process involved for accessing it. Here's everything you need to know.

How to Unlock the Color Dungeon in Link's Awakening

The Tools You Need for the Color Dungeon

The main tool you need is the Power Bracelet. That's the item Bottle Grotto is built around, so the earliest you can get to the Color Dungeon is after clearing the second dungeon.

If you want to break the sequence and don't mind missing out on some of the game's worldbuilding, you can go ahead to the graveyard to start the process.

If you want to unlock the Color Dungeon the way the game intends you to, though, you'll actually want to finish Key Cavern to get the Pegasus Boots first.

Using the Pegasus Boots to Unlock the Dungeon

Mabe Village Library

If you go the Boots route, head back to Mabe Village after clearing Key Cavern. Go to the Library, which is the bottom-left most building in the village, near where the kids usually play.

There's a book on top of a shelf at the back of the library, and now's the time to finally get it down. Use the Pegasus Boots to dash into the shelf and knock the book down.

The book describes a strange world underneath the graveyard and, more importantly, tells you how to access it: there's a specific order you need to move a set of gravestones in.

The Gravestone Shuffle

Leave Mabe Village through its east exit, then go north. Go up the stairs, and use the Power Bracelet to remove the rock blocking the way. Then, you can head east into the graveyard.

The area you want here is the southeast (bottom right) portion, where there's a set of five graves.

Like always in Zelda games, you'll first want to touch the gravestones to awaken the ghost enemies, called Ghinis, so you can defeat them before they get in the way of moving the gravestones.

From there, follow these orders:

  1. Move the bottom-right gravestone down.
  2. Move the bottom-left gravestone left
  3. Move the upper-left gravestone up
  4. Move the upper-middle gravestone right
  5. Move the upper-right gravestone up

Moving the last gravestone reveals a staircase heading down into the Color Dungeon.

Should you make a mistake during the sequence, you can enter the nearest house to reset the stones; the Witch's Hut is the closest, just to the west of the graveyard's entrance.

What Do I Get for Completing the Dungeon?

After you defeat the Color Dungeon's boss, you meet the Fairy Queen, who gives you access to two new sets of clothes — but you can only take one.

The Sturdy Blue Mail is a blue tunic that increases Link's defense, while the Powerful Red Mail is a red tunic buffing Link's attack power.

Regardless of which you choose, you can return at any time to swap tunics or revert back to Link's traditional green garb.

Build a Whole New You with Minecraft's Character Creation Tool Fri, 20 Sep 2019 11:08:38 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Minecraft has been around for a long time — 10 years, in fact — and despite all the changes and updates we've seen come to the sandbox builder/survival extravaganza, never before has the game included a built-in character customization tool.

That's about to change, though.

Mojang has announced the latest Minecraft beta is introducing a character creation tool for the Windows 10, Xbox One (finally), and Android versions of the game. It's available today, with the usual warnings that come with entering a Minecraft beta. Namely, that it replaces your current game of Minecraft.

It's a fairly extensive creation and customization tool as well. Mojang promises more than 100 free items for players to choose from. Customization options include:

  • facial hair
  • skin tones
  • hairstyle and color
  • eyes
  • mouth
  • limb replacement
  • body size
  • body shape

More accessory options are planned for a later date, but those won't be free.

Should any of the options available in Minecraft's character creation tool not seem appealing, Windows 10 and mobile users can still import skins from outside the game, per usual — and there are quite a few quality skins that can be imported.

Mojang even provided the steps needed to import skins in the patch notes:

  • Profile
  • Edit Character
  • Classic Skins tab
  • Owned
  • Import
  • Choose New Skin

Minecraft players using other Bedrock versions of the game needn't worry that they're being left out in the cold. Mojang says the character creation tool will be rolled out across all platforms after the beta ends.

Full details about the new beta, including bug fixes, can be found here.

2019 has been another very busy year for Minecraft, and the updates and upgrades aren't done yet. News about the big graphics update is expected later this year, and on top of that, Minecon is coming soon, complete with news about upgraded biomes.

Holy Trilogy Collections, Batman! Six Dark Knight Games Free on EGS Thu, 19 Sep 2019 14:18:42 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The weekly free deals on the Epic Games Store just keep coming, and this week's bundle is a doozy.

The Batman: Arkham Collection and Lego Batman trilogy are both free until September 26. Both bundles bring a total of six free games to your growing EGS library. 

Both complementary collections are available for $0.

Those interested in snagging the complimentary titles can simply sign up for or log into an Epic Games account, find the games at the top of the store's front page, and add them to their library. 

All free games downloaded to a user's library remain in that library for the lifetime of the account. 

Batman: Arkham Collection

The Arkham collection includes:

If it seems like "Arkham Knight" and "free" have been bundled together elsewhere recently, it's because the game is also one of this month's free PS Plus games. Yes, it's that good.

In fact, the whole trilogy is that good. The Arkham games are credited with reviving the Batman video game franchise, giving players more of what they love about the Caped Crusader: fast cars, pulse-pounding fights, and, of course, excellent villains like the Joker.

What's more, these are the Game of the Year Editions of each game. That means Arkham Asylum and Arkham City get all their DLC bundled together, but Arkham Knight doesn't, since its DLC isn't on the EGS right now.

Still, think of it as some kind of consolation for Arkham Crisis not actually being real after all.

LEGO Batman Trilogy

In case the Arkham Collection isn't enough, the LEGO Batman Trilogy offers even more superhero action with a lighthearted twist. It includes:

These three feature all the goofiness LEGO games are known and loved for, alongside plenty of collectibles, tons of unlockable characters spread across the DC universe, gadgets, vehicles, aliens, and more.

From LEGO Batman 2 on, the Lego characters even speak, which was a first for the LEGO games franchise.


Despite being listed as collections, each game in both trilogies is available for free individually until September 26, so you don't have to pick them all up if you for some reason don't want to. 

The Epic Games Store is on a roll the past few months with its free game offerings. A recent set included two of the most well-regarded indie releases in recent years.

You'll Need to Meet These System Requirements to Run the Modern Warfare Beta Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:42:36 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Activision just wrapped up Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's first open beta round last week, and it's already gearing up for the second beta period this weekend.

This time, it's not just for PlayStation 4 owners, though. Xbox One and PC players are eligible to join as well.

For some PC players, the big question surrounding the upcoming beta is what are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's PC specs? Happily, Activision has provided an answer.

The RAM requirements are pretty steep for the recommended settings, even if 16GB is becoming the norm for big releases such as CoD. That's offset a bit, however, by the GPU requirements, which are fairly conservative by comparison.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Minimum System Specs
  • Requires DirectX 12 compatible system
  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit (SP1) or Windows 10 64-Bit (1709 or later)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k or AMD equivalent
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB / GTX 1650 4GB or AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • HDD: 45GB HD space
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Recommended Specs
  • Requires DirectX 12 compatible system
  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k or AMD equivalent
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB / GTX 1660 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • HDD: 45GB HD space
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

It's worth noting that the 16GB recommended system requirements are a tad higher than the 12GB recommended requirements for last year's Black Ops 4

The beta is scheduled to run from September 21 through September 23, but those who have pre-ordered the game on PS4, Xbox One, or PC get special early access to it from September 19 through September 20.

Taking advantage of the free beta to see whether the changes to this Modern Warfare reboot are a sound might be a good idea. Early impressions from the CoD World League Championship were largely positive.

However, some came away from the first beta feeling like MW wasn't quite the best Call of Duty could be.

If this is, for some crazy reason, your first time hearing about the Modern Warfare reboot, head over here to catch up on all the essentials.

Top 15 Minecraft Ocean Seeds 2019 Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:04:41 -0400 Sergey_3847


Seed: 2047053153

Coordinates: 150, 150
Biomes: Ocean, Forest

Here, you will spawn on a survival island with lots of wood. The island is completely surrounded with icebergs, and there is an ocean monument inside the iceberg circle.


As always, the monument contains a massive chunk of gold hidden inside a well-guarded chamber at coordinates 232, 42, 257.




That's it for the best Ocean seeds in Minecraft for 2019. For more Minecraft 1.14 seeds, check out the list below:


Seed: 921364884630847

Coordinates: -300, -250
Biomes: Plains, Ocean, Taiga

In this seed, you will spawn in a taiga biome. Travel east to coordinates 300, -200. There, you will find a tiny island surrounded by icebergs with a village on top of it.


There is a blacksmith with some obsidian in his chest. There is also a shipwreck nearby with a chest, containing:

  • 6x emerald
  • \n
  • 7x gold nugget
  • \n
  • 7x iron ingot
  • \n
  • 14x iron nugget
  • \n

Seed: 134092810853918513

Coordinates: -250, 100
Biomes: Ocean

In this seed, you will pawn on a tiny island with ocean ruins on the surface, as well as a shipwreck. The ruins are full of drowned mobs that try to save themselves by going into the water.


You can wait before they leave the ruins and check them out for a chest with an enchanted fishing rod inside.


The chest inside the ship holds the following loot:

  • 3x emerald
  • \n
  • 17x iron ingot
  • \n
  • 20x iron nugget
  • \n

Seed: 062194277675646

Coordinates: -200, 200
Biomes: Ocean

Here is another island village located near an ocean monument at coordinates 850, -250. Every monument contains a massive block of gold that can only be reached with the help of the diamond pickaxe.


In this case, you will find the golden block at coordinates 767,42, -313. But beware of the guardians on your way there. If anything goes wrong, you can always get more gold from the shipwreck nearby.


Seed: -822066073248183252

Coordinates: 200, 250
Biomes: Forest, Ocean

In this seed, you will spawn on a survival island that is surrounded by icebergs. Between the two icebergs, you will see an ocean monument and a few shipwrecks lying around.


The monument contains a massive block of gold in its center, at coordinates 92, 42, 252, to be precise. If you manage to break it down, you will get over 80 gold ingots in your possession.


Seed: -6689780412042202881

Coordinates: 100, 250
Biomes: Ocean, Plains

In this seed, you will spawn on a tiny survival island with a village and a zombie dungeon, the latter of which is completely exposed on the surface. There is one chest with an Enchanted Book Feather Falling II inside.


There is also a top-tier shipwreck under the village with three more chests, containing:

  • 8x emerald
  • \n
  • 8x lapis lazuli
  • \n
  • 5x gold ingot
  • \n
  • 8x iron nugget
  • \n

Lastly, search for buried treasure under the village at coordinates 233, 25:

  • 3x emerald
  • \n
  • 6x gold ingot
  • \n
  • 7x iron ingot
  • \n

Seed: -041909993391475

Coordinates: -50, 200
Biomes: Savanna, Desert, Ocean

Here, you will spawn on an ocean shore near a village. To the north, you will see two small islands surrounded by icebergs. One island has a savanna village at coordinates -250, -750, and the other one has a desert temple at coordinates -500, -400.


The temple is especially interesting. Here's what you will find inside:

  • 3x golden apple
  • \n
  • 1x emerald
  • \n
  • Enchanted Book Projectile Protection II
  • \n

Seed: -494780090510235799

Coordinates: 100, 250
Biomes: Plains, Ocean

This seed has a shipwreck and ocean monument at spawn. Just a bit from where you spawn, you will find both of these structures at coordinates 35, 65.


The shipwreck has three chests with some excellent items inside, such as:

  • 10x lapis lazuli
  • \n
  • 7x gold nugget
  • \n
  • 7x iron ingot
  • \n
  • 9x iron nugget
  • \n
  • Enchanted Boots — Blast Protection II
  • \n

Seed: -5705905382322022005

Coordinates: -150, 200
Biomes: Plains, Ocean

This seed has a zombie village at spawn!


This unusual settlement generates nothing but cobwebs and zombies. But don't worry: as soon as they go out into the sunshine, they start to burn.


Fortunately, the island is located relatively close to the mainland, where you can get all the resources that you need.


For example, at coordinates -775, 150 and -750, -150, you will find two desert temples.


Seed: 474395258284874

Coordinates: -150, 200
Biomes: Plains, Ocean

Here, you will spawn on a small island with a shipwreck. Go inside and open the chest that holds:

  • 9x emerald
  • \n
  • 7x lapis lazuli
  • \n
  • 5x iron ingot
  • \n
  • 25x iron nugget
  • \n

Then, go a bit to the north. At coordinates -300, -950, you will find another island, but this time with an entire village. The island is surrounded by icebergs with several white bears.


Seed: 165322632898042

Coordinates: -250, 50
Biomes: Ocean, Extreme Hills

Here, you will spawn on a small island near a rock formation and a shipwreck at coordinates -20, -10. As usual, you will be rewarded with a ton of loot from three chests:

  • 10x emerald
  • \n
  • 16x lapis lazuli
  • \n
  • 4x gold ingot
  • \n
  • 6x iron nugget
  • \n
  • Enchanted Helmet Fire protection II
  • \n

Then, travel to coordinates 121, -199, indicated in the treasure map. On the ship, you will find:

  • 2x gold ingot
  • \n
  • 11x iron ingot
  • \n

Seed: -1030000345

Coordinates: 50, -150
Biomes: Ocean, Plains

This seed has an island village with blacksmith at spawn!


Surviving on an island is difficult as it is, but with access to a smithy and trees from the surrounding smaller islands, your game will turn into a real joyride.


Also, there is another island village at coordinates 400, 1050 but without the blacksmith. At coordinates -1200, -800, you will find an entrance into a stronghold.


Seed: 397016988482553568

Coordinates: -50, 250
Biomes: Ocean

In this seed, you'll spawn on a tiny survival island. It has a turtle beach surrounded by at least a dozen shipwrecks of various tiers. Near the island, you will find an ocean monument and a top-tier shipwreck at coordinates 280, 200.


But the best ship is located at coordinates 350, -400. It has three chests, which contain:

  • 5x emerald
  • \n
  • 5x gold ingot
  • \n
  • 10x gold nugget
  • \n
  • 6x iron nugget
  • \n

Seed: 359828297144159

Coordinates: 200, 50
Biomes: Ocean

Here, you will spawn on a small island with an ocean monument nearby. It is surrounded by a coral reef. Go south to coordinates -400, 1350 for an island village that practically stands on water without any support.


Under the village, you will see a shipwreck with a buried treasure map, which will lead you to following coordinates -487, 1593 and the following loot:

  • 4x diamond
  • \n
  • 2x gold ingot
  • \n
  • 9x iron ingot
  • \n

Seed: 748928684431499

Coordinates: -250, -200
Biomes: Mushroom Island, Ocean, Ice Plains

In this seed, you will spawn on a mushroom island that stands very close to the icy mainland. Fortunately, there is a snow village on the shore with several very rare buildings.


If you travel to the east, at coordinates 1350, 600, you will find another village on a mild plains biome.


The rest of the ocean area has a lot of small survival islands, too.


Ocean biomes in Minecraft have seen significant changes throughout the Update Aquatic era, with a number of new species, shipwrecks, coral reefs, and ocean ruins added for flair and exploration.


Since Mojang is preparing a brand-new content update for Minecraft, it's time to look back and find the best ocean seeds that the community has to offer.


Here, you will find a vast selection of the most incredible Minecraft seeds from this year, which will hopefully help you settle on the best survival islands with find fantastic treasure resting at the bottom of the ocean. 

The Sojourn Review: A Little Bit Goes a Long Way Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:42:20 -0400 RobertPIngram

In a world that seems to be in a neverending race to the next big release, sometimes what you really need is to step back and bask in the joy of simple mechanics set to flawless execution.

Sure, flair can be fun, and when done well, a big game offers unique and thrilling experiences. But all that flash also provides cover, allowing gamers to overlook small problems as minor inconveniences in a larger, excellent whole. 

When a developer makes the decision to keep things simple, they are taking a risk. By only offering players a few simple ideas, any failure to execute on those ideas becomes impossible to miss.

I recently looked at Vane, a puzzle game which tries to employ simple mechanics but becomes weighed down by errors in execution which turn it into a frustrating experience. For all its flaws, most disappointing is that it left the impression that there was space for a visually arresting game with simple controls and clever puzzles to flourish.

It created an itch it wasn't ready to scratch.

With The Sojourn, that itch is soothed.

Basic Doesn't Mean Boring

If you're looking for a game where you can fall into the rhthym of fast-paced button mashing and thumbstick flicks, The Sojourn is not the game for you.

The game unfolds, quite literally, at the pace of a casual walk. Your goal on any given level is simple: make your way to the exit. Of course, this is a game, so it's not as simple as walking over to it.

Each level presents a puzzle to be solved, and rarely does a level not require you utilize a new mechanic or uniquely implement a prior one to do so. This is the key to what separates The Sojourn from similar titles which fall flat. Despite the fact you are rarely asked to perform incredible feats of digital athleticism, and what abilities you possess are added to your repertoire at a leisurely pace, each new puzzle will get your gears turning as you puzzle out the riddle in front of you. 

Embrace the Darkness to Follow the Light

While I'm not going to delve too deeply into the game's slowly-expanding array of tricks because this is a game best experienced fresh, a look at the game's broader ideas can help demonstrate its appeal.

At its core, the primary concept which underpins most of the mechanics in The Sojourn is the existence of both light and dark, different versions of the areas you explore. For the most part, the two are similar, with just a few small differences. For example, one noticeable change might be the existence of bridges in darkness, which can be used to cross chasms in the world of light. 

More importantly, though, you gain the ability to interact with statues when in the dark.

Initially, there is just one type of statue, though others are discovered as you progress. These initial statues allow you to switch places with them when activated. This is an essential mechanic because your time in the darkness is limited by the number of steps you can take. By swapping with a statue placed closer to the area you need to reach, you can expand the range in which you can travel.

That's just one of the ways the statues are required to solve the puzzles of The Sojourn. Soon you will encounter stages where the statues serve as keys to open gates, or are duplicated in machines, or have runes which let you activate them in the light.

With each new function, the complexity of the puzzles you face goes up, all while requiring the simplest of inputs.

A Beautiful World for a Beautiful Game

The Sojourn is such an elegantly executed game that it deserves an elegant world in which to play it, and once again, it delivers.

The visuals are often beautiful, colorful, and occasionally surreal. Just wandering around the gorgeous levels is as an enjoyable experience as a walking simulator. And just as those games, there are often wonderful monuments to gaze at. 

The game takes a similarly esoteric approach to storytelling. Rather than relying on NPC dialogues or extended cutscenes, the game uses environmental storytelling and the occasional brief on-screen message. You find yourself drawn along through the puzzles while absorbing what you can of the world with each new level.

  • Engrossing puzzles continue to find intriguing ways to challenge your brain with each new level
  • A beautiful world is stunning to explore as you reason your way through puzzles
  • Simple starting mechanics with a slow-but-steady increase creates a smooth learning curve for players
  • Slower pace may not be ideal for all gamers
  • Plotting often requires players to put pieces together, which may leave some players behind

I came into The Sojourn without any lofty expectations. Perhaps it was a case of once bitten, twice shy after having my hopes dashed in a similar experience with Vane.

While I may not have come in expecting much, The Sojourn took little time to set its hooks and win me over, and my first sitdown with the game lasted a full 90 minutes longer than I had budgeted for. It was only a complete inability to remain awake at such a late hour which finally saw me quit back to my desktop and finally go to bed.

While The Sojourn falls just short of being a game that everyone needs to play, as there are some gamers who just know from the description of "slow and serene play" that it's not their cup of tea, it's worth your time if anything about the game sounds intriguing to you.

You won't be disappointed by the time you spend navigating its puzzles and taking in its beautiful world.

[Note: A copy of The Sojourn was provided by Iceberg Interactive for the purpose of this review.]

Borderlands 3 Review: Loot, Laugh, Love Thu, 19 Sep 2019 12:36:10 -0400 John Schutt

Borderlands 3 is many things: a fun 30-hour campaign, an unsurpassed loot grind, a technically proficient and satisfying shooter, and funny if you're 12. It's also a great entry point for the series and a love letter to everything that made it the juggernaut it is today.

It's got its issues, of course. The writing quality is inconsistent, and performance leaves something to be desired. These facts haven't deterred thousands of players from diving in and are unlikely to stop thousands more when everything's said and done.

Loot as Far as the Eye Can See

No Borderlands game is built on the back of its narrative, nor even its immature, irreverent humor. People come to the series for the loot game, and if there is anywhere this title nails absolutely everything, it's the loot progression.

Where to even start? If you're familiar with the formula, you know that you'll never want for new guns or gear to equip. Every enemy has a high chance of spawning something. Most of what you'll find is trash, but on the off chance you do find something worthwhile, it can change the game. 

At least until you find something else in 10 minutes.

That's a big draw for most fans, too. Unlike a game like Destiny 2, where the loot is more measured and the power scale smoother, in Borderlands 3, with the right drop, you can and will break the game right open.

Every enemy you kill could be the one to drop the perfect roll, even on the lower rarities. A blue-rarity gun might not dominate at the highest difficulties, but if you're lucky, it can and will carry you well past its level. 

It's the perfect chase, in many ways. The game shows you how potent one gun can be, but it then dangles a new carrot in front of you. Suddenly, you're questioning everything about your current setup. So you pick up something on a whim and try it out, only to wonder why you ever used anything else.

And it's not just about damage, either. The various equipment types — shields, relics, and class mods — augment your abilities with a weapon and within your class. The most dedicated players will spend hours looking for a single item, killing the same boss over and over so they can find the relic that perfects their build. 

The way loot spawns is almost as important as the abilities it provides. The sudden jump of gear as it explodes from enemies is more satisfying than it has any right to be. Plus, the Epic and Legendary gear spawn sounds are subtle but unmistakable. Bosses are especially enjoyable to kill, as their death throes terminate in a massive horde of money, consumables, and gear. No other game can boast anything like it.

The loot variety is also nothing to sneeze at. There are enough weapons and weapon types to keep things interesting for dozens of hours. If you add in the half-dozen weapon subtypes and various mechanical iterations, "billions of guns" sounds like a real possibility.

If Borderlands 3 stopped there, no one would blame it for providing an incredible progression system, but it doesn't stop — instead, it steps on the gas. 

With the return of True Vault Hunter Mode (TVHM), you have a NG+ mode with better loot and a way to truly test your gear against the game's toughest enemies. Then you can add in the new Mayhem Mode to increase your looting options even further. It comes complete with combat modifiers, gameplay changes, and smaller tweaks to the formula.

The hits keep coming, too, with two endgame modes — Circle of Slaughter and Prooving Grounds — pushing you to put on a real show. Both will test the limits of your loot and your build, but players are already finding ways to shatter bosses.

And that's how Borderlands is supposed to work.

These Guns Were Made for Shooting

Now, loot is great and all, but it doesn't mean as much if it doesn't change the way you play. And boy, can it ever.

Build variety in Borderlands 3 is incredible, even if the skill trees do try to rein it in somewhat. Melee focus, long-range focus, Ability focus, weapon type focus, grenade focus, life-steal, speed, damage, and so much more — if you can dream it, there's probably a way to build it.

Which is why it's a relief killing enemies with anything and everything is so satisfying. Unlike in previous games, where the shooting was a little clunky, or the movement didn't feel as fluid, everything comes together in Borderlands 3 to create an exhilarating experience. 

The guns, for their part, have a real punch to them, and there's a chunky feeling to the heavier weapons that scratches the itch for power in your bullets. Grenades — especially the community-favorite Pipe Bomb — are a great way to turn your enemies into red mist.

Player abilities are all unique, and all effectively fit the characters who use them. Zane's Clone and Drone abilities, for instance, are great for misdirection and battlefield control. Amara's fists show off not only the power of a Siren but also her mentality as someone always looking for a new fight.

Powerful as they are, abilities won't win fights for you on their own. They do enable feats of strength and power you don't find in other games. As with everything in Borderlands 3, if it isn't cranked to 11, it isn't worth having.

A Bridge Too Far

Sadly, there are a few things about Borderlands 3 that get in the way of the experience.

There are two huge elephants in the room: story and character. While many of the game's side characters and friends/enemies you meet along the way are well-written enough, the main drivers of the plot cannot boast such love and care. 

The Calypso twins are, to put it mildly, insufferable. Even though you discover why they are the way they are near the game's end, what you learn does little to blunt their sheer obnoxiousness.

That said, the real issue is how little your character has to say about the plot of the game. True, it's your actions that enable the main NPCs' plans to move forward, but you nonetheless spend time doing what you're told. More importantly, in the narrative cutscenes where the Twins and others get their evil on, your Vault Hunter isn't just silent: they're missing. 

The number of times the player character could have done something — anything — about the horrid situations they find themselves in is criminal. Only once, at the beginning of the game, is there some barrier between the Vault Hunter and a problem. Almost every other time, if they had just stepped in, events would have played out quite differently.

The narrative's overall weakness isn't helped by how the game runs, either. On PC, framerate drops, hitching, and intermittent crashing are common, as are save corruption errors and other progress blocking-bugs. Console has its own issues to iron out, and we even have a guide on how to fix one of them

Equipment balance is another pressing issue. If you've spent any time on forums or watching streams, you've seen the damage the Porcelain Pipe Bomb can do to bosses. It's beyond broken in a game meant to be broken, melting endgame bosses in seconds.

These issues, among others, have prompted official responses from both the Borderlands and Gearbox Twitter accounts. No timelines have been given, and in a game this large, something is liable to slip through. That doesn't excuse the bugs and performance problems, but at least they're being addressed.

  • Great gunplay, loot, and ability mechanics
  • Fantastic worlds filled with interesting side characters and sub-plots
  • Irreverent humor that satisfies the kids in all of us
  • Mediocre story with annoying main villains and too many missed opportunities
  • Performance on PCs and consoles leaves something to be desired

Despite a few glaring flaws and quality-of-life issues (endlessly screaming enemies, for one), Borderlands 3 is one of the best looter-shooter experiences on the market today. No other game can boast the amount of loot, nor the satisfaction of acquiring it all.

The classes on offer are each unique in their way, and their gameplay works in beautiful tandem with the gear you find littered about the world. The guns and grenades and other tools of destruction are almost too much fun to use. Turning an infinite number of bandits into red mist has almost never been this enjoyable.

It's not a perfect game, but it will keep you hooked for way too much time if you give it half a chance.

Gear Up for Battle — Call of Duty Storms Onto Mobile Soon Wed, 18 Sep 2019 13:35:37 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

After a long wait and a lengthy beta period, Activision and Tencent's Call of Duty Mobile finally has a release date. Call of Duty Mobile will launch on the App Store and Google Play on October 1 as a free-to-play game.

This is a global launch, with all countries except Belgium, Vietnam, and mainland China getting the game at the same time.

We detailed the game's main focus a while back, but as a refresher, Call of Duty Mobile is essentially a compilation game. It brings together maps, modes, and characters from throughout the series, including the Black Ops and Modern Warfare subseries.

Activision's VP of Mobile, Chris Plummer, said:

We are delivering the definitive, first-person action experience on mobile with signature Call of Duty gameplay in the palms of your hands

We are bringing together some of the best the franchise has to offer, including Modern Warfare maps like Crash and Crossfire, Black Ops maps like Nuketown and Hijacked, and many more, into one epic title.

That said, it does only include multiplayer and battle royale modes at launch.

However, Activision mentioned more modes and content will be added to the game as time goes on, and the multiplayer component is more diverse than it might seem, with bits and bobs pulled from other Call of Duty multiplayer modes. Some of these multiplayer modes include Search and Destroy, Team Deathmatch, and Free-For-All.

CoD Mobile's battle royale is Call of Duty meets PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, with up to 100 players fighting for survival, using their wits and whatever they can find — including vehicles — to try and make it out alive.

Ahead of its October 1 release date, Call of Duty Mobile's pre-registration is also open now and can be found here.

Daemon X Machina Review: System Malfunction Wed, 18 Sep 2019 15:24:08 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The moon has shattered, and, unsurprisingly, the world is changed forever.

Once-thriving cities slowly rust and wither, and people band together in groups of mercenaries, piloting massive mechs called Arsenals and taking on whatever tasks net them the biggest profit.

These tasks usually involve destroying AI-controlled machines, tools that once aided humanity but now, corrupted by an alien force, seek only to destroy it.

Is this an anime? An action flick? No! It's Daemon X Machina — which is to say, it's a bit of both, with some Armored Core thrown in for good measure.

In DXM, you blow up robots, then you blow up more robots, and then you blow even more (and bigger) robots. Sometimes you face off against other mercenaries when you aren't listening to them share their life stories and talk philosophy. In between all this, you're customizing your Arsenal to make it the best it can be.

Unfortunately, it seems the same care you put into building Arsenals wasn't used to make the game a cohesive experience. Various elements, from worldbuilding and character development to combat and strategy, don't quite coalesce the way they should, and it keeps the game from realizing its true potential.

Robots in the Skies

Creating the best Arsenal you can is at the crux of Daemon X Machina, which is no surprise to fans of the mech genre.

You've got several components to deal with, including the usual body bits, weapons, and processors. Each addition takes a bit of memory available to your Arsenal, and many components have attachments you can add to further enhance their performance, assuming there's enough memory.

There's a wide variety of ways you go about getting new parts, too. Some are unlocked as you go along, while others must be bought in the Orbital store using Credits earned through completing missions.

Scavenging is another — better — way to get new stuff, though, since you can often find much more powerful weaponry than you can buy. If not, you can sell it off for more Credits.

Deciding what to outfit your Arsenal with is one of the game's finer points. Weapons come in several different types  not that you get access to many initially  and it's up to you to determine what matters most.

Do you want a powerful but clunky laser beam or a fast and reloadable machine gun? What about a gun that does more damage but loads slowly? Homing missiles are nice, but grenades explode. But maybe the smart thing to do would be to prioritize defense and upgrade your shield.

Things get deeper thanks to the Pylons your Arsenal comes with. On top of the right-arm- and left-arm-weapons, you can add backup weapons to the left and right pylons, weapons you can swap out at any point during a battle using the direction pad.

Changing your build is fast and easy, plus you can save different builds to use in whatever situation arises. That's especially good because while you might need to up your defense and give mobility a boost for one mission, emphasizing power and weapon versatility might work better for another.

You also get the option to fight outside your Arsenal, too. It wasn't an option that seemed especially useful in most cases, but it does encourage you to experiment with surgery.

You can surgically modify your avatar to install weapons for arms, improve lower body functionality, and so on, and though it means you can fight using your avatar alone, it also improves aspects of your Arsenal.

Machine Learning

While the mech-building aspect isn't necessarily as deep as other, similar games, that's okay. The battles aren't really complex enough to support building mechanics that go any deeper.

That isn't to say they aren't fun, though. Controlling your Arsenal feels intuitive and smooth, and it's a joy just moving around each battlefield as you hunt down rogue AIs. Fighting rarely feels stale either, thanks to the huge variety involved in outfitting the Arsenal.

However, there is a definite sense that Daemon X Machina isn't quite sure what kind of game it wants to be. It's hard not to think a difficulty option would be a useful addition, something to let newcomers to this genre get their feet wet without much tension while rewarding those who want to push their Arsenal-building skills further.

Most of the time, fights are comparable to battles in a musou game: lots of enemies staring at you, waiting for you to kill them. Considering the majority of story missions involve wiping out X number of AIs, it does feel like there's a lot of wasted potential here. The care put into building your Arsenal and the need to actually put that strategy to good use just don't match up.

Moreover, defend "Position X" or escort "Thing Y" missions are few and far between, more likely to come up in free missions, so there is definitely a need for more variety here.

That doesn't hold true when facing off against opposing mercenaries or AI-controlled humanoid mechs, though. Particularly with the former, you'll be on your guard more often, having to make use of your well-considered bag of tricks, and that's when DXM's combat really feels good.

The same isn't exactly true for the big setpiece battles against Immortals, giant corrupt AIs that act as bosses in most cases. These fights are visually impressive and task you with managing resources more efficiently, but they also drag on too long, without being very challenging.

Once you figure out their limited attack patterns, which happens pretty quickly, it's just a matter of going through the motions and attacking the right spots enough times.

That brings up one other minor annoyance: the lock-on feature. It improves as you upgrade your processor, but it's a hindrance as much as a help. Locking on to an enemy means you'll fire guns at it, but the reticule often shifts to new enemies as they come into view, and you can't keep it situated on one foe. It also has no effect whatsoever on melee weapons, where you'll zoom straight over them despite being locked on.

A World of Confusion

The world of Daemon X Machina is a genuinely interesting one, and it's full of over-the-top personalities pursuing their own, usually conflicting, goals. That kind of setup tends to be promising and foreshadows an enjoyable narrative experience. In this case, though, it's actually a hindrance.

I know, this is a mech game. It's about blowing things up and making your giant robot the biggest, bad-asserest mech it can be. Story doesn't usually come into play with these kinds of games, or if it does, it's an afterthought that links missions together. The game would have been fine like that, too.

The thing is, Marvelous tried making Daemon X Machina's story interesting and puts it in front of you all the time — just, not in the right way.

Your avatar is a silent one who, when the game begins, comes out of a special kind of brain surgery enabling people to link with Arsenals for combat. There's no indication this surgery takes people's memories away, but the characters have a bizarre habit of simultaneously treating you like an amnesiac and assuming you know everything.

Basic information like what happened to the world gets told to you as if you had no idea anything existed before your surgery, when a cutscene would have sufficed — or better yet, a Souls or Metroid Prime style system where you can find more information about the world if you want to.

In fact, some kind of archive or glossary giving background about things like Sky Union and its rivals would have been a nice inclusion and one that fits in the world's context.

That's because important things like who specific mercenary groups are, why the people you're working with act the way they do, and why these various organizations you take contracts from even exist, get passed over as if you know everything already.

What you're left with is a lot of questions and a very (very) loose narrative thread tying together all the missions you take on.

It's an unnecessarily frustrating setup that ends up making you not care about the world Marvelous tried hard to create. A less interesting and unique world would have been perfectly fine — more appealing, even — since we aren't allowed to know much about how this one works anyway.

Chat Room

With all that, you'd think the characters don't have much to say, or there isn't a lot of interaction going on. Oh, how wrong that assumption is...

The moon falling obviously removed any sensible conversation inhibition people have, because they never stop talking — ever.

Despite that, they don't always have interesting things to say.

Each mission comes with a pre-acceptance cutscene where you meet the other mercenaries taking part — well, sort of because they tend to overlook your existence.

These scenes show off a character's personality and sometimes their motivations. However, in many cases, the personalities are a bit too overdone, and the scenes drag on unnecessarily, and you can't advance the dialogue manually. Banter between parties isn't very interesting when it doesn't have any effect on the mission, relationships, or, well, anything.

For some reason, these will randomly switch to text conversations spoken by portraits. Presumably, this is when each mercenary gets in their Arsenal, but there's no transition in the scene or even dialogue to suggest it, making these pre-mission scenes seem choppy on the whole.

Anecdotes on the Battlefield?

Where the dialogue really becomes a problem is on the battlefield, because it interferes with gameplay.

In every mission except the free, non-story missions, you'll hear and see your various partner mercenaries carry on discussions about a variety of things, from what they think about the mission and what they were doing before they became mercenaries to commentary about their employers.

It's all interesting stuff — if you weren't trying to complete a mission. None of the conversations are suited to the situation at hand and would be better off as pre- or post-mission discussions.

Unless you're playing in docked mode or have headphones on, you probably won't hear everything they have to say, either because A.) you can't hear it thanks to the game's other SFX or B.) you're focused on mission objectives, not reading reams of oh-so-tiny text at the bottom left of the screen.

The sequences outstay their welcome as well, to the point where they're continuing to role after you've already completed an objective. The mission won't advance until the dialogue stops, though, creating an annoyingly frequent discontinuity in the gameplay.

Fortunately, all these things are, while not exactly easy to overlook, somewhat forgivable thanks to the excellent combat and Arsenal-building mechanics.

Blending Styles

There's no denying Daemon X Machina is a good-looking creation. Its art direction adds immensely to the overall feel of the game and sets it apart. Battlefields look fresh and appealing — even when you've seen the same basic one countless times. 

There were some times where the game stopped briefly when a lot of action, movement, and light effects appeared on screen, though, mostly during battles with Immortals.

The human designs are an interesting mix of anime and Western styles, almost like anime had a baby with Borderlands. It's a fresh approach to an often worn-out style, and something that hopefully doesn't end with DXM.

The soundtrack is a bit more difficult to pin down. The mostly-bereft Hanger area doesn't have a theme, there's little musical accompaniment to pre-mission cutscenes, and what you do hear during battle gets overshadowed by the action.

The Verdict

  • Satisfying and deep enough mech building
  • Intuitive combat that's just plain fun
  • Fresh and appealing style
  • Confused and unnecessary narrative direction
  • Baffling decisions for when and where to spew forth exposition
  • Disconnect between Arsenal building and actual combat difficulty

Daemon X Machina is a strange hybrid. From a critical perspective, it's one that seems like it needed more time baking before it could be called truly finished. There are a lot of annoying elements that add up over time, and the combat really should have more variety and difficulty.

Does that mean you won't enjoy the game? No, it probably doesn't. Combat is what the game is all about, and it's fun — even if your partners never shut up, and shooting toothless robots doesn't take full advantage of your time and effort.

Still, at the end of the day, Daemon X Machina doesn't live up to its full potential, and that's a shame because it has a lot going for it. Here's hoping for a new entry in the franchise that builds on this one's shortcomings.

[Note: A copy of Daemon X Machina was provided by Nintendo for this review.]

The Pokemon Company Unveils Sirfetch'd, Exclusive to Pokemon Sword Wed, 18 Sep 2019 10:41:40 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The glitched mystery 'mon for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield recently teased by The Pokemon Company has been revealed. As rumored, the newest addition to the Galar Pokedex is Sirfetch'd, an evolved form of Farfetch'd that's exclusive to Pokemon Sword.

As of now, there aren't any specific details about how Farfetch'd evolves into Sirfetch'd; we only know that it happens after "experiencing many battles" — which sounds like the usual method of evolving after leveling up, but it's still not confirmed.

It's also not certain if Sirfetch'd will be one of the select Pokemon that can Gigantamax either.

Sirfetch'd meteo assault in Pokemon Sword

Sirfetch'd also gets a brand-new move: Meteor Assault. It's the one depicted in the trailer, and it seems similar to Hyper Beam in that it is a very powerful move that leaves the user unable to act on their next turn.

The mention of leaving battle if the leek should wither doesn't sound like it indicates a new ability, either. The official description says Sirfetch'd retires from battling entirely if the leek wilts, and its sole ability appears to remain Steadfast.

We're getting ever closer to Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield's release date of November 15, and we'll likely be seeing at least one more reveal in this style. Sirfetch'd's reveal is the first new Pokemon announced as a version exclusive, so a Shield exclusive announcement is likely coming soon.

Siege of Centauri Guide: Best Strategies For Each Enemy Type Wed, 18 Sep 2019 16:03:56 -0400 Sergey_3847

There are several ways to play tower defense game Siege of Centauri, but whether it's Campaign mode or Endless mode, both beginners and veterans are thrown into the heat of the battle right away.  

While veterans should quickly understand the concepts at play, newcomers might drown under the game's vast number of weapons, enemies, and strategies.

So, to avoid that fate, we've put together this beginner's guide for Siege of Centauri. The tips below will help you learn how to fight and destroy hordes of aliens in the most effective ways possible.

We'll cover: 

  • Best strategies against Frigates
  • Best strategies against Cruisers
  • Best strategies against Air Units
  • Best strategies against Dreadnoughts and Juggernauts

Every mission in Siege of Centauri starts with intelligence gathering, where you learn what types of enemies will attack your base and from which direction(s).  After this phase, you are given time to build and place weaponry as you see fit.

If you choose wisely, then defending your position should be easy. But to be sure, here's how you gain the advantage against your enemies. 

Best Strategies Against Frigates

A masochist enemy unit shown in a Siege of Centauri menu

There are seven types of enemy frigates in Siege of Centauri. Each has its weaknesses and strengths, which you can utilize to defeat them.

Here are the best weapon strategies against each enemy frigate type:

vs. Masochists
  • Rail Guns with Shotgun upgrade
  • Drone Bays on large maps
  • Pulse Cannons
  • Mortars and Arc Projectors in large quantities
vs. Capacitors
  • Arc Projectors with Shotgun upgrade
  • Rail Guns with Shotgun upgrade
  • Artillery Post with Incendiary Payload upgrade
vs. Reapers
  • Gun Turrets with Shotgun upgrade
  • Arc Projectors
  • Mortars
  • Milton's Missile Attacks
vs. Scarabs
  • Mortars
  • Artillery Posts
  • Arc Projectors with Chain Lightning upgrade
  • Corrosion Mortars with Contagious Virus upgrade
  • Minos Cannon with Lure of the Volatile Reaction upgrade
vs. Martyrs
  • Nova Cannon
  • Artillery Posts
  • Reinforcements
vs. Corrupted Healers
  • Mortars
  • Artillery Posts
  • Rail Guns
  • Particle Lasers
  • Corrosion Mortars
vs. Hatchlings
  • Mortars
  • Arc Projectors
  • Shotguns
  • Artillery Posts

Best Strategies Against Cruisers

A destructor shown in a Siege of Centauri menu

Cruisers are the most frequent enemies you will face. There are nine types of enemy cruisers in the game.

Cruisers can become very dangerous in large numbers, so be sure to use these strategies against each type:

vs. Destructors
  • Corrosion Mortars
  • Particle Lasers
  • Minos Cannon with Overcharging upgrade
vs. Falling Stars
  • Ion Disrupters
  • Corrosion Mortars
  • Minos Cannon with Overcharging upgrade
vs. Eradicators
  • Particle Lasers
  • Nova Cannons
  • Upgraded EMP Blast
  • Pulse Cannons
vs. Hooded Turbines
  • Ion Disrupters
  • Pulse Cannons with Colony Pulse upgrade
  • Corrosion Mortars
vs. Mobile Nullifiers
  • Particle Lasers
  • Ion Disrupters
vs. Rolling Hives
  • Disruption Beam
  • Flak Cannons
  • Rail Guns with Shotgun Upgrade
vs. Floating Factories
  • Minos Cannons
  • Corrosion Mortars
  • Pulse Cannons
vs. Taskmasters
  • Gravity Wells
  • EMP
  • Disruption Beam
vs. Clutch of Eggs
  • Minos Cannon with Violent Overload upgrade
  • Corrosion Mortars

Best Strategies Against Air Units

A punisher shown in a Siege of Centauri menu

Until now, we've been focusing on terrain units, but there is also a large number of air units that attack from above.

Currently, there are five different types of air units, and each requires a different kind of strategy.

vs. Punishers
  • Falcons
  • Icarus SAMs
vs. Sparrows
  • Anti-Air Turrets
  • Arc Projector with Storm Projector upgrade
vs. Harbingers
  • Icarus SAMs
  • Disruption Beam
  • Reinforcements
vs. Vultures
  • Rail Guns
  • Disruption Beam
vs. Gliding Cranes
  • Icarus SAM with Overcharging upgrade
  • Scavenger Modules

Best Strategies Against Dreadnoughts and Juggernauts

An overmind shown in a Siege of Centauri menu

Lastly, the most dangerous types of enemies are dreadnoughts and juggernauts. These massive machines can single-handedly destroy your base if you don't have a pre-planned strategy against each of them.

vs. Overminds
  • Ion Disrupters
  • Minos Cannons
  • Pulse Cannon with Disruption upgrade
vs. Retributors
  • Ion Cannon with Defense Scrambling upgrade
  • Particle Lasers
  • Gravity Wells
  • Stasis Hammers
  • Amplifiers
vs. Nest of the Queen
  • Minos Cannons
  • Ion Cannon with Defense Scrambling upgrade
  • Particle Lasers with Graviton Beam upgrade
  • EMP
  • Temporal Shift
vs. Heart of the Phoenix
  • Nova Cannon with Field Leak upgrade
  • Particle Lasers
  • Gravity Wells
  • Stasis Hammers
  • Temporal Shift


These are the best strategies for each enemy type of Siege of Centauri. For more on the game, be sure to head over to our official review

Siege of Centauri is currently available on Steam for PC. 

Siege of Centauri Review: Tower Defense By the Numbers Wed, 18 Sep 2019 13:27:04 -0400 David Jagneaux

Remember those simple Flash games you'd find on websites like Newgrounds and Kongregate? If they didn't feature clicker-game mechanics or stick figures exploding, then there's a good chance they included features from the tower defense genre.

Siege of Centauri reminds me a lot of those games, except with a supremely polished coat of paint and (very) high production values. But underneath its shiny exterior, this tower defense title still feels relatively archaic and overly simple by modern standards.

Ideas Under Siege

Siege of Centauri is a top-down tower defense game developed and published by Stardock Entertainment. The game takes place in the same universe as the developer's popular Ashes of the Singularity RTS series. Here, though, you deploy an arsenal of mechanical defenses to protect remote bases from alien onslaughts.

It's a simple premise that's bolstered by lengthy, involved, and entirely unnecessary mission dialogues that actually feature some surprisingly good voice over efforts. It's a shame, however, that the talent feels a bit wasted on content most players will likely skip. Much more of that flavor context should have been woven into the missions themselves to aid pacing and inject some much-needed personality into the overall product.

Instead, after the first hour or so, the game winds up feeling like a bit of a slog. There are about 24 missions in total that will take roughly seven hours to complete, plus a meager endless mode for a few maps, and a level editor that also lets players download community maps.

Generally, though, all of the maps feel the same. There is little variation, especially in terms of enemy lanes and movement along those lanes. Basically, each map is flat and forgoes varied elevation. It simply feels like the game's level designers ran out of ideas far too early in the development process.  

Polished But Not Perfected

Now, let me be clear: I'm not saying Siege of Centauri looks, feels, or plays like a hobbyist Flash game. Stardock is responsible for some excellent strategy titles such as Sins of a Solar Empire, Ashes of Singularity, and Galactic Civilizations. That's their specialty. But despite what you might assume based on how much these genres overlap, that doesn't seem to have translated to the same depth, complexity, and thoughtfulness in the tower defense scene. 

Thankfully, there are some things that work very well. Visually, Stardock's tower defense title certainly shines through.

Siege of Centauri is undoubtedly one of the best looking tower defense games in terms of not only map design and texture detail but also gadget and enemy quality. Even its particle effects are flashy.

Swarms of enemies pour into maps later in the campaign in such a way that it feels almost like they're stumbling over each other to rabidly attack your base. It can often feel intense and overwhelming for brief moments, which is a welcomed change of pace from most of the game's pacing — and they look fantastic doing it. 

It's just a shame that the glorious mobs of creepy, crawly, and sometimes mechanized alien hordes aren't smarter and more dangerous. Other tower defense games really make you plan and think and pick and choose your battles. It's a genre about cost-benefit analysis and this one usually devolves into the same brand of chaos at the end of just about every mission.

While some enemy types are weak to certain weapons and not others, it doesn't end up mattering much in the end since most weapons have similar ranges and area of effect attacks that hit multiple groups at once. If you spread out your weapons enough and summon reinforcements when available, most levels won't be much challenge without manually raising the difficulty slider.

  • Great visuals and detailed animations
  • Surprisingly engaging voice acting before missions
  • Solid, albeit derivative, core gameplay loop
  • Level design lacks variety and verticality
  • Most missions devolve into identical chaos by the end
  • Upgrades aren't very rewarding
  • Performance issues plague stability

As far as I'm concerned, Hidden Path's Defense Grid: Awakening and Defense Grid 2 the standard-bearers of the defense genre; they've set high bars that have yet to be surpassed, and Siege of Centauri doesn't come close in any regard. The genre has seen plenty of spin-off iterations like Dungeon Defenders, Orcs Must Die, Plants vs. Zombies, and more bring in extra mechanics. Siege of Centauri feels decidedly stuck in the past by comparison.

All that being said, Siege of Centauri is still extremely playable, brings high-quality production values to the table, and has a brisk campaign that's solid to play through at least once. At $15, you can certainly do worse, but it's hard to commend it much beyond that at this stage.

[Note: A copy of Siege of Centauri was provided by Stardock for the purpose of this review.]

"Intimate, not epic": An Interview with Tequila Works' Raul Rubio Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:58:59 -0400 Mark Delaney

From the show floor of PAX West a few weekends ago, I got to go hands-on with Google Stadia for the first time. Google's big bet that game streaming has arrived impressed me in my 30-minute appointment as I played some Mortal Kombat 11 and the upcoming DOOM Eternal

While both demos ran as smooth as any player would demand they should, neither is the foremost reason I'll be eager to get my hands on Stadia when it launches this November.

For me, the killer app is Tequila Works' GYLT, a Laika-like 3D adventure game launching exclusively for Stadia. I got the chance to speak with the Spanish studio's CEO, Raúl Rubio Munárriz, about their design process, how they're utilizing Stadia's unique features for the eerie GYLT, and what lies at the heart of Tequila Works.

GameSkinny: How long has GYLT been in production? Has it always been envisioned as a Stadia exclusive?

Raul Rubio: Around two years. GYLT was our answer when the Stadia team asked what could we bring to the platform then known as Yeti. There was a previous prototype version before Stadia, but GYLT has been designed with Stadia in mind.

GS: What ways is the GYLT team leveraging Stadia’s features to develop the game?

RR: Stadia changes the way you create. Simulated physics, AI and machine learning. Even on a single-player experience, we can use those amazing tools. For example, style transfer allows us to change the visual style seamlessly in real time. We can enhance the mood and atmosphere from eerie to melancholic to scary by “simply” changing how you see the world.

GS: GYLT was revealed as a horror game. How scary is it meant to be?

RR: It’s not gory horror, more like delicate horror. Less Wes Craven and more Guillermo del Toro. Respectful of the world and its inhabitants. Scary, but always at the service of telling an intimate story about pretty deep and dark themes.

GS: The game is described as letting players “hide from terrible creatures or confront them.” Can you talk about the way players do these things in the game? 

RR: Think of a sick hide and seek game. Sally is a little girl facing the physical manifestations of her fears and traumas. She is a fragile character, so using her wits is recommended over frontal confrontation. That means hiding and using stealth to avoid the monsters. Sally has plenty of tools at her disposal, though, so creating distractions or other tactics are available to the player.

GS: The character and world design of GYLT gives the impression of a child’s perspective corrupted by some kind of darkness. What was the process like designing this world? How did you come to this final version we see in the trailers? 

RR: Or more like how a child would face and understand that darkness that is twisting her reality. Magical realism was the way we made a world that seems believable but feels something else. Neil Gaiman was a great inspiration, as well as the beautifully crafted stop motion worlds of Laika and Aardman. A combination of physically correct lighting and materials but a very stylized and “hand-drawn” approach to architecture and characters.

GS: What else inspired GYLT, either in fiction or in reality?

RR: GYLT was originally inspired by a personal, real story close to us. It evolved thanks to working with psychologists specialized in the subject of bullying who introduced us to its deep complexity in a respectful way.

The fictional mining town of Bethelwood was heavily inspired by locations from Maine. The state was the main (no pun intended) visual reference, not only because of Stephen King’s tales (laughs) but because of its combination of history, people, and biomes.

Neil Gaiman’s Coraline — and by extension Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — helped us shape the twisted and sometimes surreal nature of GYLT. Another unlikely inspiration was RiME itself.

GS: Video games are often very good about getting players to feel heroic or scared at different times, but less successful when it comes to making them feel sad or, as GYLT is described, “melancholic.”

Your previous work, RiME, is the most personally affecting video game I’ve ever played. Behind its own symbolism, GYLT looks like it’ll have a lot of emotional weight, too. What is the process like inside Tequila Works to ensure the player remains emotionally present?

RR: Thank you, kindly. We have been working on narrative structure for a long, long time. We decided many years ago that our stories would be interactive stories, a vehicle to touch the player, driven by their own feelings. As such, the kind of experiences we create are intimate, not epic.

We believe in telling stories worth being told, not excuses to justify fancy graphics or cerebral gameplay. We embrace the interactivity of our medium; we don’t telegraph a narrative and tell you how you should feel, but lay a structure with slots so players can develop their own emotional response.

Just like RiME was about grief, or Deadlight about solitude, or The Invisible Hours about exposure… GYLT is about blame. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate the victim from the aggressor; sometimes they can be both. In a sense, GYLT is not about judging or indoctrinating, but putting all those elements under the spotlight, and letting the player decide with their actions.

GS: Tequila Works’ history is consistently unpredictable. It’s impressive that one studio is responsible for an eclectic mix of games like Deadlight, The Invisible Hours, RiME, and upcoming projects like Groundhog Day 2 and GYLT. How many teams do you typically have working on different projects and what sizes are these teams? 

RR: I guess you can only expect the unexpected from Tequila Works, because we love to play with what audiences take for granted. We are pretty genre-agnostic, just like we are platform-agnostic.

Each creation tries to raise a question or answer one of our own. That would be pretty hard if you only make the same game over and over again I guess. That’s why we always aimed for Tequila Works to be a boutique studio.

Now, we are around 85 people in the studio, currently split in four teams. We just finished Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son and that team has moved to either GYLT, two new undisclosed projects or The Distillery, our small R&D team.

We are very flexible, and we have never put all the staff on a single project because that would be AAA territory, and we have been there, done that. Our team sizes change a lot, the smallest being one, strike teams are typically three, each Distillery “cask” is five, Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son was 18 at its peak, GYLT is around 35.

It’s all about the project scope. We try not to oversize because big teams require not only more “bureaucracy” but it’s harder for the creativity and spontaneity we're prideful of to flow in a less agile working environment.

GS: With that in mind, how does Tequila Works determine where they’re going next with their projects and why is GYLT the right game to make now for your studio?

RR: Tequila Shots and The Distillery, of course! They operate on a Game Jam basis and are responsible for the boldest, craziest stuff playable. Also proper R&D like new tech or tools, but mostly new future concepts with gusto.

Concepts come from the Tequila Shots (regular internal Game Jams) where people propose personal ideas. Everyone is welcome, no matter their background (financial and accounting have dreams, too!) and all ideas are voted on by everyone. The only requisite is answering the questions: “Where is the beautiful?” “Where is the crazy?” That’s how GYLT entered our lives; it was the project the team believed in.

I’m involved in all our projects, but we truly believe in career development inside the studio and that’s why David Canela is leading the GYLT project, with me as editor, creative supervisor, or executive producer, choose yourself. I provide constant advice and feedback, but I serve more like a counselor and “keeper of the mojo.”

New generations of talent slowly blending with hardened veterans to keep evolving is key for the studio to grow without diluting our culture. That means you can expect new directors in future projects. I’m full-time on The Distillery and a new project now, being half-time on GYLT and “the other one.” What’s the secret for double-full-time? Sleep deprivation and a grain of lawful chaos, that’s it.

GS: To date, Tequila Works has never made a sequel. Do you ever consider going back to any of your previous worlds, and if so, which ones?

RR: We have written sequel concepts for Deadlight — in all its Metroidvania glory... and RiME — I personally loved this one. We even prototyped the former. Again, maybe not the kind of sequel you expect. If you have finished both games you know what I mean.

I think we feel more confident working on original IPs. Even our sequel proposals are conceived as originals, thus Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son. Fun fact: one of the early incarnations of The Invisible Hours was a sequel to Deadlight!

GS: What do you hope stays with players after they finish GYLT

RR: Their integrity. Nobody should completely lose their innocence. Ever.

GYLT launches alongside Google Stadia this November, though no exact date has been revealed for either the game or the platform.

To learn more about GYLT and other projects from the always-busy studio, you can visit Tequila Works' website. Thanks again to Raul for sharing the view from inside of one gaming's most unpredictable studios.

Borderlands 3 Guide: How to Farm Legendary Weapons and Gear Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:32:54 -0400 John Schutt

As more Borderlands 3 players approach the endgame, there is one question they must answer before moving forward: Where can I farm legendary weapons, shields, and class mods? 

You know, the best gear in the game for each class...

There are a few surefire ways to load up on these shiny golden guns. The best and most broken of them — such as those outlined at the bottom of this guide from PC Gamer and Heavy — are likely to be patched or adjusted. Update: the PC gamer trick is patched.

Since the pipe bomb trick and loot tink won't be around for long, we'll be discussing five different methods unlikely to be patched or removed. They are:

  • Boss farming
  • Chest Farming
  • Quest Hoarding
  • The Circle of Slaughter
  • Proving Grounds

Please note: All of these methods require True Vault Hunter Mode and Mayhem to be active. Also, this article does not discuss specific farming locations, focusing instead on the means of acquiring legendary items, the ultimate upgrade for your guns and gear.

Shiv boss title card from Borderlands 3

Farming Bosses and Red Chests

As in Borderlands 2, every boss in Borderlands 3 will respawn after a set period passes, provided you've completed the main story on their planet.

For instance, you can endlessly kill and loot the Gigamind and/or Killavolt boss fights on Promethea. That is, provided you've completed all story missions there and killed the bosses in question.

Typically, there's about a 45-minute to a one-hour delay between each boss spawn. As of writing, though, you can expedite the process by tricking the game into respawning bosses early.

How to Spawn Bosses Faster in Borderlands 3

All you need to do for this quicker method is:

  1. Kill the boss
  2. Exit their arena (completely)
  3. Reload the game
    • Quit to the main menu and reload

You'll spawn at the checkpoint nearest your previous location, and the boss should be similarly back in action. 

This farm works endlessly, and you can continue to fight as long as it takes for the boss to drop the weapon you want. 

Get Red Boss Chests for Better Loot

Bosses usually come with red chests as well, and these chests have a much higher probability of spawning legendaries than other weapon caches throughout the world.

Red chests respawn after about 45 minutes. If you find a good spot to grind for a few hours, you can supplement boss murder with additional chances at the best loot.

Claptrap stands in front of a poster of the Clypso twins

Quest Hoarding

There are a lot of quests in Borderlands 3. However, unless you've completed the main story, they won't scale in level or value with your character. Once you do beat the final boss, they start scaling just fine. 

You're likely to hit the max level cap (50) by the time you complete True Vault Hunter Mode's second playthrough. That means every quest you picked up along the way is not at the level cap, bosses and loot included.

Bear in mind, most completed quests are not repeatable, so hoarding them until endgame is the best way to secure everything at the proper endgame levels.

Twinks and other borderlands enemies fire weapons

The Circle of Slaughter

Another endgame, the Circle of Slaughter is a classic Horde mode. You'll fight through five rounds of three waves each with additional challenges thrown in.

Difficulty increases with each round, meaning more and tougher enemies, with the fifth round being the hardest of all. In the end, you'll meet a small horde of quality loot as a reward for conquering the Circle.

"Farming" this activity is less about the act and more about the theory. You want to maximize four things to get the most out of your time. 

  1. Damage: If you can't kill enemies, you aren't spawning loot. Prioritize damage wherever possible. Efficiency is key.

  2. Survivability: Tailor your build so you can stay in the fight as long as possible. Whether that's damage reduction, regeneration, misdirection, or any other method of keeping yourself alive, do it.

  3. Luck: If you can find the gear to increase your luck by any significant margin, equip it. Don't sacrifice either damage or survivability, but a little extra luck increases your chances of a legendary weapon by more than you might think.

  4. Maximum Mayhem: In most scenarios, Mayhem Level 2 is more than enough for increasing your loot chance. Curate your builds around modifiers and play the best Borderlands you've ever played.

 A mech stands in front of other characters

Proving Grounds

Another endgame unlock, Proving Grounds is Borderlands 3's take on a classic dungeon instance. Think Diablo Rifts, but without quite so much randomness in map layouts. 

Proving Grounds are round-based affairs culminating in a final boss and a loot chest. As with the Circle of Slaughter, you want to ensure your builds are up to snuff. Strategize as above.

The farm here isn't quite as time-consuming as Circle, but it isn't boss-farm efficient either. Instead, you want to kill and kill and kill, melt the boss, repeat ad infinitum. With good luck and Maximum Mayhem, legendaries should be plentiful enough.

Be sure to check out our other Borderlands 3 guides below:

As noted at the beginning of this guide, you can also try these farming methods, though they're likely to be patched sooner rather than later: 

Gears 5 Guide: Potential 0x8b050033 Error Fix Tue, 17 Sep 2019 14:19:19 -0400 Ty Arthur

Gears 5 might have been the biggest launch in the franchise's history (thanks, Ultimate Game Pass), but that doesn't mean it hasn't suffered from a few bumps along the way, including an ugly error code: 0x8b050033

The latest problem reared its ugly head this morning as players worldwide have had trouble launching the game at all. Many receive the error message "You need this update, but we can’t get it right now. Try again in a while. (0x8b050033)."

Xbox Live completely crashed the night Gears 5 went live, and a steady stream of issues have popped up since the Dave Bautista skin event launched last week.

How Do I Fix the Error? 

Unfortunately, the issues is that there's no Xbox One console update to actually download. The game is searching for an update that isn't there yet.

Uninstalling and re-installing doesn't solve the problem as of now, so don't bother, especially considering the bulky install-size of Gears 5!

While it isn't sure-fire, the most frequent fix for the largest number of users is to:

  1. Log out of your profile
  2. Log back in
  3. Completely close the Gears 5 app
  4. Re-open it
  5. Check if the error code pops up

Some players have successfully circumvented the update error message that way, but it isn't guaranteed to work in all cases.


          This is a whole mood for Gears 5 players right now

That's all you need to know about the 0x8b050033 Error for now. The good news is that a patch is supposed to arrive later today, so this is likely a limited-time problem. Check back later tonight, and we should (hopefully) see an official fix from The Coalition.

Have you found a workaround besides logging out and back in? Let us know what you did!

Looking for relic weapon locations or want to unlock that killer new Bautista/Fenix replacement skin? Check out the rest of our Gears 5 guides here.

Biome the Vote: Choose Which Minecraft Biomes Get Updates, New Features Tue, 17 Sep 2019 12:51:43 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Minecon Live is the celebration of all things Minecraft, and Mojang is adding to this year's event by holding a user poll to see which Minecraft biome gets a big upgrade first.

The choices are Swamp, Mountains, and Badland, and Mojang promises a variety of new features for all three biomes, including new mechanics and new models. Regardless of which biome wins, all will eventually get upgraded, since the Big Biome Vote is just to determine which one should gets the big makeover first

The poll opens on September 28 at 12 p.m. EDT, but between now and then, Mojang will release videos on Twitter showcasing what players should expect from each biome's update.

Minecon Live 2019 itself also begins September 28 and will be broadcast via Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, Facebook, and

This year's convention is hosted by four influencers and Minecraft experts, Masuo, Marielitai, Shubble, and Dangthatsalongname.

It'll include all of the usual fare: a 90-minute presentation of in-depth announcements about upcoming changes to the game and a series of panels hosted by Minecraft masters talking about what they do best, from modding to being a marketplace creator.

With Minecon Live, there is a number of Minecraft-related announcements we might expect to see. Minecraft Earth is one, or the recently announced ray tracing and graphics suite updates.

Then there's the Diablo-inspired Minecraft Dungeons, which hasn't gotten much attention since its initial announcement earlier in the year.

Whatever it is, we'll just have to wait and see. Be sure to tune in on GameSkinny to watch it all unfold. 

Meanwhile, check out some of the highlights from last year's Minecon Earth, which kicked off the Life Aquatic update, here.

Wireless SNES Controllers for Nintendo Switch Available Now — For Some Tue, 17 Sep 2019 11:23:11 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Nintendo recently added 20 SNES games to the Nintendo Switch Online subscription library, and the wireless SNES controllers that accompany those additions are available for purchase now — but only for Nintendo Switch Online members.

The controllers are priced at $29.99 each, plus an extra $5 for shipping, with a limit of four per MyNintendo account. They're set to begin shipping tomorrow, September 18.

The SNES controllers are completely wireless and come with a USB charger, though they can be charged using the Nintendo Switch AC adapter as well.

Unlike the NES controllers released last year, these don't slide onto the Joy-Con rails though — which is sort of okay, because that feature had no practical purpose anyway, even if it did look nifty.

However, since beginning this article and reaching the second paragraph, the product page shows the items are temporarily out of stock. There's no estimated restock date, though, at the very least, Nintendo's record with the SNES Classic Mini shows it's (presumably) learned its lesson about demand for retro goods, especially after the fiasco that was the NES Classic Mini's stock situation.

We'll update accordingly if there's any word about restocks or anticipated shortages.

Bandai Namco Dreams Up Trademark for Klonoa Encore Tue, 17 Sep 2019 11:04:24 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Last night, Twitter account Klonoa Archives posted an update showing Bandai Namco filed a new trademark for its long-dormant Klonoa franchise. The trademark details are mostly in Japanese but can be found here.

The filing is for Klonoa of the Wind Encore. That might sound like a brand-new game to Western ears — something many have long hoped for — but Klonoa of the Wind is actually the original Japanese name for what we know as Klonoa: The Door to Phantomile.

Tacking "encore" onto the title is also what Bandai Namco did for the remake of Katamari Damacy, leading most to believe Klonoa of the Wind Encore this is another remaster of a classic — not a new entry in the series.

Some are saying that's not necessarily true, though, that Door to Phantomile was already remade on the Wii in Japan, and Bandai wouldn't work on another remake.

However, it's worth noting the Wii version is 10 years old now, released in a time when cat stars like Klonoa weren't as appreciated as they are now. It also didn't feature all that many upgrades or improvements over the original, save in the visuals department.

Katamari Damacy Reroll enhanced the original Katamari Damacy with some quality of life tweaks, namely in controls and cutscenes, and improved the game's graphics. Given Door to Phantomile's age, a remaster isn't entirely out of the question or unwarranted.

Meanwhile, the publisher has also filed trademarks for several other "Encore" titles, including Splatterhouse and Mr. Driller, among others.

We'll likely know more about these mysterious new filings soon enough, whenever Bandai Namco officially announces the new Klonoa project and other Encore initiatives.

Final Fantasy 8 Remastered Guide: Best Weapons Tier List Tue, 17 Sep 2019 15:08:08 -0400 Sergey_3847

Whether it's Final Fantasy 8 Remastered or Final Fantasy VII Remake, the FF franchise features some of the most iconic weapons in the JRPG genre. Of course, not all of them are created equal, hence the need for the following FF8 tier list. 

Below, you'll find a complete tier list for the game that includes the strongest weapons, as well as their individual strength values, hit rates, and crafting recipes. We've chosen to only include the best weapons because once you get them, there's no reason to use anything else on the game's bosses and minions. 


  • Type: Gunblade
  • Strength: 30
  • Hit Rate: 255

Squall's best weapon has always been the Lionheart gunblade. After it appeared in Final Fantasy 8, it became so popular that developers included it in myriad FF games, including Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XV, and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

Lionheart has earned the status of the best weapon in the game not only for its cool looks but because of the Lionheart ability, which allows players to perform an ultimate finishing attack as a part of the Renzokuken limit break.

This weapon is hard to get, but it's not impossible. Here is the crafting recipe for Lionheart:

  • 1x Adamantine
  • 4x Dragon Fang
  • 12x Pulse Ammo

Shooting Star


  • Type: Blaster Edge
  • Strength: 28
  • Hit Rate: 107

This weapon may not look terribly dangerous because of its feathery edges, but this is Rinoa's best projectile weapon.

Getting this weapon is just as hard as getting Lionheart, and you will need to go through a number of dangerous battles against Thrustavis, Torama, and Elnoyle before you get all of the necessary crafting components.

Here is the crafting recipe for Shooting Star:

  • 2x Windmill
  • 1x Regen Ring
  • 1x Force Armlet
  • 2x Energy Crystal

Strange Vision

  • Type: Nunchakus
  • Strength: 25
  • Hit Rate: 255

This is the rarest and strongest melee weapon in Final Fantasy 8. It's got an incredibly high hit rate, which means it can deal heavy damage.

Some of its components can only be obtained by playing card games, such as Triple Triad, and winning Star Fragment cards (e.g. Iron Giant). If you have played these card games, then you will know why it's so hard to actually get this weapon.

In any case, here's the crafting recipe for Strange Vision:

  • 1x Adamantine
  • 3x Star Fragment
  • 2x Curse Spike


  • Type: Gunblade
  • Strength: 24
  • Hit Rate: 255

In case Lion Heart turns out to be too difficult to craft, you can opt for another highly powerful gunbalde: Punishment.

It is also possible to get this weapon very early in the game by defeating Ifrit and Fastitocalon monsters on Balamb Beachside, which will give you a good amount of AP. Then, learn Quetzacoltl's card abilities and win every card mini-game.

After that, you can craft Punishment with the following recipe:

  • 1x Chef's Knife
  • 2x Star Fragment
  • 1x Turtle Shell
  • 8x Screw


  • Type: Shotgun
  • Strength: 25
  • Hit Rate: 115

The only really worthwhile firearm in FF8 is Exeter..

In order to get his weapon, you must first learn the Mug ability, which will allow you to steal Dino Bones from T-Rexaur in the Balamb Garden. After getting the bones, head to Esthar City and fight Elnoyle. Then play some more card games.

Eventually, you will have all the necessary items for crafting Exeter:

  • 2x Dino Bone
  • 1x Moon Stone
  • 2x Star Fragment
  • 3x Screw

Save the Queen

  • Type: Whip
  • Strength: 25
  • Hit Rate: 107

This whip made of tentacles can do just as much damage as any other top-tier weapon in Final Fantasy 8. It's also the only weapon that can be obtained via Triple Triad and Card Mod without leaving Balamb Garden. 

It has an alternative title and is sometimes called the Gold Snake, but in either case, the crafting recipe is the same:

  • 2x Malboro Tentacle
  • 4x Sharp Spike
  • 4x Energy Crystal


  • Type: Gloves
  • Strength: 25
  • Hit Rate: 103

Lastly, Zell's ultimate fighting gloves need to be mentioned. These can only be crafted using a very rare material; Dragon Skin.

To get the required number of the dragon scales, you will need to fight Anacondaur in Dollet.

Here is the crafting recipe for these powerful gloves:

  • 1x Adamantine
  • 4x Dragon Skin
  • 1x Fury Fragment


These were the strongest weapons in Final Fantasy 8 available through junk shop crafting. If you're looking for a way to get more screws in FF8 Remastered, then head over to this guide to find out more. 

For even more on the digital only remaster that launched on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam for PC (sorry, Mac, iOS, and Android), be sure to head over to our review of FF8 to read about our comparisons to the PS1 original and how the game holds up today.