Nintendo Platform RSS Feed | Nintendo RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Fortnite's New Infinity Blade is Getting Nerfed [UPDATE: Now Vaulted] Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:51:27 -0500 William R. Parks

[UPDATE 12/14/15: Epic has taken to Twitter to announce that the Infinity Blade is now Vaulted, and the company is currently "re-evaluating" its approach to Mythic items.]

Original story: 

Earlier this week, Fortnite's newest melee weapon, the Infinity Blade, was added to the popular battle royale game mode. Unfortunately, the release of this powerful sword has not been received well, with a vocal portion of the player base calling for an immediate nerf.

Epic has responded by outlining changes that will be coming to the weapon in an upcoming patch.

These changes are focused on increasing the risk of wielding the Infinity Blade, and, after patch V7.10, Fortnite players will no longer be able to build or harvest with the weapon in their inventory. "By taking away the ability to harvest/build we hope to tune the Infinity Blade to where it feels risky to have, but still satisfying to wield," Epic's announcement on Reddit states.

The Infinity Blade is currently the only Mythic item available in battle royale. Mythic items are a step above the game's Legendary items, and this power increase can certainly be felt with the new melee weapon.

Not only will players find that they are dealing devastating damage with the Mythic sword, it also boosts mobility and comes with some extremely powerful effects. Specifically, players that are wielding the weapon receive an increase to their health and shield pools, regenerate health over time, and get health and speed boosts whenever they kill an opponent.

This is a deadly combination, and while only one player is able to obtain the Infinity Blade per match, the weapon is having a great deal of effect on Fortnite. While Epic's proposed changes may reduce this impact, some players are wondering why the weapon is not simply relegated to a Limited Time Mode (LTM).

In a previous LTM, players attempted to locate yet another Mythic item, the Infinity Gauntlet, which would give them powerful abilities and transform them into the supervillain Thanos. The goal of this game mode was to be the last Thanos standing, and some players are citing this as a perfect structure for an Infinity Blade-based LTM.

That said, Epic has indicated that it is committed to including Mythic items in Fortnite's battle royale mode going forward. Following the initial implementation of the Infinity Blade, this may come as troubling news to some fans. However, it is clear that the company has its eye on balancing Mythic items, and perhaps a solution can be found that does not require removing the Infinity Blade in full.

Epic's full announcement can be found on Reddit.

New Update Improves Super Smas Bros. Ultimate's Online Matchmaking Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:56:17 -0500 QuintLyn

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fans who have been having issues with online matchmaking may find things a bit easier thanks to the game's latest update. Patch 1.2.0 offers a few improvements to the game, including things like adjusting difficulty levels, tweaking game balance, and adjusting several of the game's characters.

The primary online matchmaking issue this update seeks to fix is one where players who signed up for 1v1 matches would often find themselves in free-for-alls with different rules than expected. Patch 1.2.0 doesn't fix things completely, but it does attempt to prioritize the settings the player selected when queuing for a match. That said, players are still not guaranteed to get exactly what they asked for.

As for the character changes. Nintendo hasn't stated specifically what players can expect there, but they did provide a list of which characters have been tweaked. This includes:

Donky Kong, Duck Hunt, Greninja, Ice Climbers, Isabelle, Kirby, Link, Luigi, Olimar, Pac-Man, Toon Link, Villager, and Young Link.

The full patch notes from Nintendo's in-game notice system can be found below.

Offline Gameplay

  • Adjusted difficulty of approaching challengers

Online Gameplay

  • When matchmaking in Quickplay, the Format setting of your Preferred Rules will be more highly prioritized. This may cause matchmaking to take more time, and there’s still no guarantee that you’ll find a match that has your exact Preferred Rules.
  • Increased the stability of the synchronous connection within Battle Arenas.


  • Game balance adjustments.
  • Various gameplay fixes.
Fortnite's Cross-Platform Services Offered Freely to Developers Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:17:43 -0500 William R. Parks

As multiplayer gaming continues to exponentially grow in popularity, the ability for players to play their favorite titles with friends, regardless of their preferred platform, is becoming increasingly important. Fortunately for players that are dreaming of more pervasive cross-play support, a recent announcement from Epic, the developers behind Fortnite, suggests that their dreams may be one step closer to reality.

Specifically, Epic is making portions of its cross-platform game services free to all developers. These services, which are the foundation of Fortnite's cross-play support, will begin their rollout in 2019, and they will be "open to all engines, all platforms, and all stores."

Furthermore, the company emphasizes that developers are free to take the portions of the online services that fit their needs and that all services are operated under GDPR compliance.

Epic's announcement offers further insight into the release of these services:

The service launch will begin with a C SDK encapsulating our online services, together with Unreal Engine and Unity integrations. We’ll start with a core set of features and expand over time.

Developers will begin seeing these core features made available during the second quarter of 2019. This includes the ability for supported games to recognize friends and acquired items (such as cosmetics) across PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. 

Then, in the third quarter, Epic will be making cross-platform voice communication available as well as trophies and the beginnings of the requisite support for matchmaking across the seven major platforms.

"The services described above are just our first steps," Epic's announcement reads. "As you can see from our game and engine efforts, we’re also working on further support for user-generated content, enhanced social features, anti-cheat, and more."

Between this announcement and the launch of the Epic Games Store, a digital distribution platform with a focus on increasing developers' revenue, it is clear that Epic is committed to turning the success of Fortnite into an opportunity for other developers. This sentiment is specifically reflected in this new announcement, as it states that the company's goal is to "help game developers succeed."

While clearly these new offerings are not completely selfless acts, and some have already leveled criticisms at the Epic Games Store for locking developers into exclusive distribution deals, many small game makers are certain to benefit greatly from them. These freely available cross-platform game services may not guarantee that all multiplayer gaming has full cross-play support moving forward, however, they will make it an option for studios that could never have considered it previously.

Epic's full announcement is available on the company's blog.

GRIS Review: A Watercolor Platformer Full of Hope Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:53:38 -0500 ESpalding

This week sees the release of an indie narrative platformer called GRIS. It is Barcelona-based Nomada Studio's first game and is being published by indie giant Devolver Digital. It is available on PC and Mac and will also be released on Nintendo Switch at a later date.

GRIS follows the story of a young girl who is beginning to explore her own emotions following on from a drastic event which has changed her world completely. The game boasts no combat, no deaths just plenty of platforming goodness and puzzles.

Story and Setting

As I've already said, GRIS follows the story of a young girl as she tries to come to terms with her emotions following a sad experience in her life. The titular character starts off with no special abilities and is just her exploring the world around her.

It has an unspoken story but as you progress through the game, you start to get an idea of what might have happened. There is no dialogue and no text to read. Through changes in the artwork and gradual introduction of abilities, the more you play the more you develop the story and begin to understand what is going on.


I don't know about you, but there are certain things I look for when looking at new indie games. The first thing is always going to be its look. One of the first things you will notice about GRIS is that the developers have gone for a very fine hand-drawn kind of look and, in my opinion, this has got to be the best thing about this game.

The watercolor effect the game has is simply superb and adds a beauty to it that is rarely seen in games these days. It has also been used to influence the story and the more you progress, the more color is introduced in the game. It starts out pretty monochromatic but, as you will find out, it becomes more colorful as you progress.


I'm not going to lie. The controls themselves are pretty basic and straightforward for anyone who has spent a lot of time playing platformers. Given that there is no combat in GRIS, the controls simply move you around and activate the abilities you gain as you progress.

These abilities come in the form of her dress. The dress can move independently and change shape depending on what you want it to do. Do you want Gris to become heavier? The dress turns into a block and gives you extra weight. You want to do a double jump to get over an obstacle? The dress wafts up to give you extra lift. This gives the character a good bit of development as the game progresses.

Aside from completing puzzles, the one other thing that you need to do in GRIS is to collect stars. Stars can be used to form walkways or bridge gaps when they are joined together. It is also through collecting these stars that Gris' dress gains its abilities. Once you have enough stars, they can be made into constellations to form special symbols and creatures which will grant you these special abilities.

Verdict: 8/10

All in all, GRIS is an absolute charm of an indie game. The story developing as you go along is engaging, the artwork is stunning and the puzzles are just hard enough to keep your mind working without being too hard and make you frustrated. For the first game from a small indie studio, this game is very impressive. If they continue this trend of blending aesthetics and gameplay in such a way, I can see them gaining a lot of recognition.

  • Mechanics change and develop as the story develops
  • Beautiful artistic design and emotive storytelling
  • Consequence-free world
  • Could be considered simplistic

[Disclosure: A copy of GRIS was provided for review purposes.]

Fortnite: How to Complete All the Season 7, Week 2 Challenges Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:47:07 -0500 William R. Parks

Fortnite's seventh season has been live for a week, and players have been familiarizing themselves with its new wintery biome, the game's first ariel vehicle, and the newly introduced Infinity Blade. Additionally, weekly challenges are keeping fans occupied, as they work to acquire the newest cosmetics, and the Week 2 challenges are now available.

For players that do not own a Fortnite Battle Pass, there are three free challenges:

  1. Search a Chest in different Named Locations [7]
  2. Damage opponents with different types of weapons [5]
  3. Eliminate opponents in Snobby Shores or Fatal Fields (HARD) [3]

All of these challenges are straightforward, and they should be easily completed by slightly modifying play patterns in order to focus on these objectives.

For those that do own a Battle Pass, there are four additional challenges, including one multi-part challenge, and some will require a little more work than the free challenges:

  1. Stage 1: Visit Snobby Shores and Pleasant Park in a single match
    Stage 2: Visit Lonely Lodge and Dusty Divot in a single match
    Stage 3: Visit Frosty Flights and Tomato Temple in a single match
  2. Play the Sheet Music on pianos near Pleasant Park and Lonely Lodge [2]
  3. Compete in a Dance Off at an abandoned mansion [1]
  4. Eliminate an opponent from at least 50m away [1]

As with the free challenges, the first Battle Pass challenge should be easily completed by simply modifying gameplay to make sure that the criteria is met over a few matches. For those that would like to expedite the process, starting a match by landing in the first location and then going directly to the second location is the fastest option.

In the second challenge, players will need to locate two pianos and play the notes indicated on the accompanying sheet music. This can be done by jumping on the corresponding piano keys.

The Lonely Lodge piano is located along the east edge of the island in J5, and the Pleasant Park piano is located on the hill in B3:

The third challenges asks players to dance in an abandoned mansion, which is located in J5 (very near to the Lonely Lodge piano):

After arriving at the mansion, players should make their way to the building's basement, where they will find a dance floor and scoreboard. Those that dance in this location will complete the challenge.

Again, the fourth challenge is straightforward so long as players hone their sniping skills and are intent on executing it.

With a few exception, the Season 7, Week 2 challenges will be easy for most players to complete. As a result, fans should have plenty of time to work on their buildings in Fortnite's new creative mode and also pickup a melee kill or two.

How to Get the Infinity Blade in Fortnite Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:32:21 -0500 Oscar Gonzalez

Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 7 is underway, and to celebrate the new season, Epic Games added a new weapon to the game this past Tuesday. This weapon, however, is actually from Infinity Blade, another franchise owned and developed by Epic, and it is by far the most powerful object in the game.

The Infinity Blade is now available for any player who is quick and brave enough to pull it from where it rests. Those who survive the mad rush for the sword will have in their hands a power that can't be matched by any other weapons in Fortnite.


The Blade Is Mightier Than the Gun

Since the Infinity Blade is a Mythic melee weapon, it is incredibly overpowered. When a player pulls the weapon from the ground in Polar Peak, they will immediately receive 200 shields and 200 health.

Each swipe of the blade will deal 75 damage to other players, and there's a jumping dash attack that will cause 25 damage. The blade can also destroy buildings and structures like a hot knife cutting through melted butter. 

It doesn't end there, though. Each elimination made with the Infinity Blade will increase the wielder's health or shields by 50. There's also regeneration that comes with the blade that will increase health or shield by one point every three seconds

The Sword in the Stone

To get the Infinity Blade, players will have to head to the new snowy areas on the island that were added in Season 7. More specifically, Polar Peak.

Where the letters for Polar Peak are on the map, there is a mountaintop with a castle half-buried under snow. Players will see a square with several pillars, and in the middle sticking out of the ground is the Infinity Blade.

The exact location is marked on the map below. 

Survive the Bum Rush 

Finding the Infinity Blade is easy, but actually getting it is the hard part.

The first obstacle is the rush of players going for the sword. Numerous players will head to Polar Peak at the start of the game, especially if the Battle Bus passes over it.

The next problem is the lack of weapons and materials in the area. There are a few buildings around the sword, making the decision on whether to battle with pickaxes or run to a building in hopes of finding a weapon before another player gets the Infinity Blade somewhat tough.

Several trees are also in the immediate area, but like the conundrum of finding weapons, getting wood or brick will take time and you may be too late to the blade. 

What could be the biggest problem is the five seconds it takes to claim the Infinity Blade. You can stop while trying to pull the sword from the ground, but that will reset the five-second timer.

But we've got some tips that might make things easier.  

Gimme That Sword!

Since it's currently OP, the Infinity Blade isn't easy to get. While the strategies below aren't foolproof by any means, they should give you a fighter's chance in pulling the sword from the stone. 

Getting the Blade Tip 1

If the Battle Bus travels over Polar Peak, forget about going for the blade. Everyone will take a stab at it since it's right there. 

However, if the route for the Battle Bus is more down the center of the island, jump out and glide your way to the mountaintop.

Going straight for the sword in this configuration is a good tactic because you will most likely only deal with other players with pickaxes. You'll be able to take a few hits from a pickaxe as you try to pull it out.

The key thing is to make a run for it when other players are preoccupied, which is likely to happen since most people will be afraid to go after the blade when there are others around.

If there's one player in the vicinity of the Infinity Blade, then take a shot at claiming it. You will be able to survive multiple pickaxe attacks as long as it's only from one player. 

Getting the Blade Tip 2

Those that want to go the weapon route first should head for the castle buried under snow. There are two chests in the building: one on the ground floor and another on the fourth floor.

Use the weapons in either chest to take other players in the building. If you obtain a sniper, head to the rooftop and take shots at the player who acquired the sword. If not, go to the ground entrance and leave through the door in the direction of the square where the blade is.

Make sure to get some materials in the building as you make your way up and down the floors. If someone has the Infinity Blade, keep your distance and attack from afar. Do not get close or you'll be dead in just two hits.

You can try building a structure for protection, but a player with the sword will quickly demolish it. Stay far away and try to maneuver back to the castle in the snow or any high ground. Build some ramps to get the higher ground and try to do a quick edit to remove parts of the ramp so the sword wielder won't follow you.

Ideally, you being above them will be enough to get some free hits as its unlikely the player with the Infinity Blade has enough materials to build a ramp to chase you.

Getting the Blade Tip 3

If you do get the sword, use the jumping dash attack to close the distance on any player. It'll be easy to take them down up close, but as mentioned, from a long distance, you are a sitting duck, especially if someone has a sniper rifle.

After you've killed all nearby players, start gaining those materials so you can defend yourself from snipers and assault rifles as you try and get close. Since the Infinity Blade can heal you, don't be ashamed to disengage in order to heal up.


Like the Infinity Gauntlet Limited Time Mode from earlier in the year, the Infinity Blade will likely last for a short period of time before Epic removes it from Fortnite. At the very least, it will get nerfed since it's currently OP.

This means you'll need to jump on right away in order to get a taste of its power.

Looking for more Fortnite tips? Head over to our Fortnite guides page for more.

What the FTC's Loot Box Investigation Could Mean in the U.S. Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:23:12 -0500 Gabriella Graham

On Tuesday, November 27, Sen. Maggie Hassan called for the serious scrutiny of video game loot boxes from the Federal Trade Commission. Hassan said she requested the inquiry as an investigation into loot box marketing and its potential effects on children. 

Hassan also stated that the inquiry would work to educate parents on the potential dangers loot boxes pose as it relates to gambling and virtual chance. 

In response, FTC Chairman Joe Simons and fellow members of the FTC pledged, without hesitation, to investigate the matter of loot boxes.

The pledge, alongside recent developments in countries such as Belgium, could indicate upcoming regulations in the U.S., depending on the FTC's findings.

Gateway Transactions

Loot boxes are virtual items awarded at random in an increasing number of video games. There are two ways to acquire loot boxes in-game: using in-game currency or real-world money. 

Although many games do allow players to purchase some or all loot boxes with in-game money, that in-game money is often very hard to acquire, making the use of real-world money more enticing.  

Loot box "prizes" range from various in-game boosts to weapons to new characters, skins, and/or outfits. More often than not, loot boxes do not grant access to items that help players beat other players.

Although there are pay-to-win structures in place for some games, specifically in the mobile space, players typically buck against pay-to-win structures in most console and PC games, such as those originally found in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.  

When Hassan introduced concerns about loot boxes to the FTC, those concerns were not unique to the United States but rather common in the gaming industry. She reported:

Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smartphone games to the newest, high-budget video game releases. Loot boxes will represent a $50 billion industry by the year 2022, according to the latest research estimates.

So why does this matter to the FTC? Primarily, the children.

The rising correlation between loot boxes and gambling may come as no surprise to seasoned players or anyone paying attention to the gaming industry as a whole.

Hassan reminds us that Belgium, the Netherlands, and Japan have all already made moves to regulate the use of loot boxes. These efforts have been attempts to curtail gambling in younger generations.

To correlate this further, Hassan also cited that earlier in November, the United Kingdom's gambling commission reported that "30% of children have used loot boxes in video games."

To further drive this point home, Sen. Ed Markey cited the rise of manipulative marketing techniques in correlation to loot boxes. Although the game and character were not named, Markey pointed to a virtual character that continually cries if an in-game purchase isn't made, effectively manipulating some players (such as children who are more susceptible to such tactics) to make purchases they otherwise might not have. 

Talk about laying it on thick.

A Point of Contention

Hassan made claims that loot boxes constitute an "integral part" of video games.

Regardless of your personal opinion on chance-based revenue, this precise wording may become part of the debate and could influence FTC investigative findings.

It's true that titles like Star Wars: Battlefront 2 have been criticized for play-to-win structures. But not every game that features loot boxes punishes players' who don't fork over extra cash.

Consider Nintendo's response to digital revenue concerns. Back in June, Reggie Fils-Aimé, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America, addressed the nasty reputation of loot boxes in an interview with Bloomberg.

He compared loot boxes to the same sort of chance kids have taken for decades with packs of baseball cards. This example is admittedly outdated, but his point still stands with cards for tabletop games like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Magic: The Gathering.

Fils-Aimé further differentiates loot boxes as a necessity versus an engaging option:

What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting as long as that’s not the only way you can get those items. And that’s where some developers have made some mistakes. For us, its one of many mechanics we can use to drive on-going engagement in the game.

Fils-Aimé isn't alone in his interpretation. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released a statement to Variety regarding Senator Hassan's assertions:

Loot boxes are one way that players can enhance the experience that video games offer. Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase. They can enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, but have no impact on those who do not.

Why the Definition Matters

Let's back-track for a moment and look at this from a slightly different perspective.

Sen. Hassan cited Belgium as an example of countries that have raised flags on loot box inclusions in games. Interestingly enough, the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) has emphasized how loot boxes alter gameplay experiences in their own studies, considering massive titles like FIFA 18 and Overwatch.

The stance it's taken could be bad news for the ESA if America follows suit; according to the BGC, "enhancing" the experience through loot boxes still equates to gambling, where the BGC defines gambling as "a game in which a cost from the player can lead to loss or win for at least one person, and where chance plays a role in the progression of the game, the winner, or worth of the winnings."

The concern then shifts to the possibility of how gained advantages manipulate players into making loot box purchases. Since children aren't known for their impressive impulse control, that temptation becomes more pronounced.

Some suggestions from the BGC for loot box regulation mirror those implemented by other countries, as well as those suggested by a range of psychologists.

They include:

  • player-spending limits
  • age verification methods to avoid targeting children
  • easy access to the odds of winning and the value of the rewards
  • clear indication on any and all titles that contain gambling

Depending on the FTC's findings, the United States could see similar adoptions of these recommendations. 

How do you feel about loot boxes? Are you hoping the FTC pushes regulation in the United States?

Share your thoughts and/or loot-driven horror stories in the comments.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review: An Undeniable Triumph Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:42:02 -0500 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Something that a lot of reviewers struggle with, myself included, is defining what a perfect game looks like. What specific criteria must a game live up to in order to achieve a score of 100%, A+, or 10/10?

Of course, I can't speak for any writer but myself, but for me, the criteria center on a simple question: "Would I change anything about the game?"

There are precious few games that fit this description: We Love Katamari, Pokemon Sun/Moon, Dance Dance Revolution, Bayonetta 2, and Super Mario Odyssey are a few that tick all of the boxes for me. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate not only joins that group but in terms of its sheer scope, becomes bar-none, the most impressive game I've ever played. 

Everything You Could Ask For Is Here

The first thing to know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is that it is probably the most ambitious crossover project in the history of media. Right now, the game features 74 characters representing dozens upon dozens of games and companies, and that roster will expand to 80 with the addition of DLC.

Infinity War, eat your heart out. 

Add to that a staggering list of stages, over 800 music tracks, hundreds of items, and Easter eggs in the form of Poke balls and assist trophies, and the scale of this game starts to (barely) come into focus.

There's just so much ... 

For those of us who are longtime fans of the series, it can sometimes be easy to take a lot of this for granted, especially since director Masahiro Sakurai has had the unenviable job of topping his own announcements ever since they revealed that Sonic would be appearing in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

If the new announcement that Joker from Persona 5 will be joining the battle is any indication, though, the team still has the uncanny knack for topping itself and subverting expectations. 

Another way of putting it is this: the simple fact that this game was even made is a freaking triumph.

Taking Stock

From the minute you hop into battle, you'll notice how refined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate actually is. Every design choice feels painfully intentional, from the stunning new final hit animation to the revamped perfect shield mechanic and the way in which rolling has been changed.

Each modification comes together beautifully, like ingredients in the most delicate, delicious dessert you've ever had, and it's all meant to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate an incredibly fun game not just to play, but to watch as well.

Aside from the Home-Run contest, the basic modes players have become accustomed to are all here. From a revamped Classic mode that sees each character in the roster follow a different path to victory and a much-improved training mode that is tailor-made for drilling combos, to series mainstays like Cruel Smash and 100-man Smash (now called Century Smash), Ultimate has something for everyone.  

Under the hood, there's now an almost-endless array of ways for you to customize matches beyond choosing time or stock and turning items off. There are tons of modes -- tournament, smashdown, squad battle -- that are designed for large groups or party scenarios, and even if you're not using them, there are lobby rules for local Smash that allow you to set up rotating battles where the winner stays (or drops out), leaving no pauses in the action.

We've Got Spirit

After Ultimate's Spirit mode was announced, I was skeptical. The way that Nintendo presented it, the mode seemed like some weird cross between Tamagotchi, Pokemon, and Super Smash Bros., without the charm of any. It looked confusing, inaccessible, and tacked on.

Of course, it became my favorite part of the game.

In practice, fighting a spirit battle is more like fighting an event battle in a previous entry in the series, with the caveat that there are literally thousands of spirits. The majority of the time, these battles take the form of incredibly clever battles that use and subvert the rules of the game to simulate battles between characters that aren't in the game. 

For example, the Venusaur battle sees players facing off a gigantic Ivysaur on a stage where the floor is poisoned, while the Squitter battle simulates fighting on a spiderweb by making the ground sticky. To win these battles, you need to equip spirits to overcome these deficiencies, to either get more powerful or to render yourself immune to hazards. 

I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that everything in the spirit section of the menu is brilliant, from the rotating bounties on the spirit board to leveling up spirits to enhance them and change their forms to the amazing story mode, World of Light. 

In World of Light, you'll find a relatively deep experience, but not one as deep as Subspace Emissary. The mode will take you anywhere between 30-40 hours to complete, and it is sprawling, packed full of intense boss battles, spirit fights, and climaxes that will tug at your heartstrings.

It's a triumph.

Online Matches

I can only speak from my own experience, but the new online system, one where players set their preferred game rules (whether they want to play 1-on-1 matches or not, whether they want items on, etc...) has worked very well for me, though it seems like I'm the only one.

I very rarely (maybe one or two matches out of every 10) get placed in a match that isn't being played by the rules I have selected as my preferred rule set.

In addition, though reports have been coming in of players experiencing terrible lag during online matches, in my week of testing, I haven't run into that yet, even playing without a USB LAN adapter. 

Given the discourse on Twitter right now, I'm part of a huge minority of people who haven't run into these issues, and make no mistake, they are issues. That said, even if the lag and rule set issues don't get resolved, the addition of public arenas where players can actually set defined rules for matches (as opposed to quickplay, where there's always a chance your rule set won't be picked) makes any quickplay headaches people might encounter into a non-issue.

There are public arenas for every rule set you can think of, and you can set up private arenas for you and your friends as well if lag is becoming an issue and you want to make sure you're only playing with folks who are using wired connections. It's inelegant, but there is a way around every online issue you're likely to find.

I hesitate to say this but... maybe this time Nintendo got online right? At least kind of?

We eSports Now

The most surprising thing about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is that finally, for the first time since the series debuted, the game seems to be catering to the competitive crowd as well as the casual crowd without making any concessions. 

There's no forced time mode here, no hand-holding -- the game gives you a toybox of rules, stages, and characters to play with and lets you loose.

Hazard toggle means that more stages than ever before will be tournament legal, and Stage Morph offers some pretty amazing variety for casual players, allowing them to essentially play on two stages at once.

The Smash Radar, a feature that allows players to see exactly where they are even as they're off-screen is incredibly helpful for competitive play and can lead to a whole bunch of amazing off-stage exchanges.

  • The Spirit Mode means the game has almost-unlimited replayability, even for single-player fans
  • The roster is absolutely insane
  • The new rules, stage lists, items, and ways to play make the game feel like a sandbox where you can play the way you want to
  • Online modes make sense, and generally work exactly the way they should
  • It's not looking like Waluigi is gonna make it in this time around, folks

The reason Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is such a triumph is that it says yes to the player at every turn.

It feels almost like a sandbox game at times, which is absolutely ridiculous when you remember that this is a fighting game. The level of freedom you have to smash how you want, in addition to the fact that the game itself has a ton of replayability for single-player fans, the party crowd, and the competitive scene means that this game is an instant classic already, and they're going to expand the game more through DLC.

It's the best entry in the series, despite what folks who have spent years perfecting Melee wavedashing will tell you. Once again, don't @ me.

[Note: Nintendo provided the copy of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate used in this review.] 

Rumor: Fortnite to Be Banned in China Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:25:41 -0500 William R. Parks

Last week, it was announced that a Chinese "ethics assessment committee" had reviewed the contents of 20 online games, requiring that 11 of these titles be amended before release in China and banning nine of them outright.

Now, a recent report suggests that the battle royale sensation Fortnite is one of these banned titles.

According to China's state-run press agency Xinhua, the assessment committee is "comprised of online gaming experts and researchers from the government departments, industry institutions and media outlets," and its goal is to be certain that online games, like Fortnite, "meet a certain code of ethics" prior to their release in China.

While Xinhua does confirm that 20 games have been reviewed by the committee, the suggestion that Fortnite is amongst the banned titles comes via a post on NGA, a Chinese gaming forum, which has since been translated on Reddit.

The reason for the ban is cited as "blood and gore, vulgar content," and the post indicates that other battle royale titles, including PlayerUnknown's BattlegroundH1Z1, and Ring of Elysium, are being denied for similar infractions.

In March, China's regulators put a full stop on issuing commercial licenses for online games, effectively preventing the public release of new titles and creating a significant shake-up in the massive market. While the results of this first round of reviews suggest that the newly established committee has strict guidelines for approval, it is, at least, indication that this total freezing of new licenses is coming to an end.

This increased focus on online gaming follows what Xinhua describes as "social concerns" about video game addiction and the negative impact they can have on their players. For instance, in August, China's Ministry of Education suggested a correlation between video game playing and damaged eyesight, and they called for a decrease in the number of online games released in the country as a result. 

At this point, there has not been an official statement confirming the ban of Fortnite in China, however, it is clear that the assessment committee has recommended that a number of titles not be granted official release. While it is difficult to be certain the exact impact this new approval structure will have, China is the world's largest video game market, and these types of bans will, no doubt, be felt the world over.

The post outlining the rumored banned titles can be found on Reddit.

Desert Child Review: Sweet Ride Wed, 12 Dec 2018 12:00:02 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

Whenever I review a game, I don't just look at the obvious points of interest, such as mechanics and graphics. I tend to also look for deeper meaning, even if the game isn't narratively rich in a traditional sense. 

Since I started reviewing games, I've found that indies typically have more freedom to answer more philosophical and esoteric questions.

Desert Child, developed by Oscar Brittain and published by Akupara Games is a game that does that, even if it doesn't look like it on the surface. 

A racing RPG about a young man, his trusty hoverbike, and the goal of winning a Grand Prix so he can move from a dying Earth to a vibrant Mars, Desert Child xyz

Vroom Vroom

Although it might be philosophical in nature, Desert Child is a racing game at heart. Races last about two minutes; you can gain speed by destroying targets along the way or damage opposing racers to slow them down. Of course, your NPC opponents can do the same to you, so you'll need to race with care and employ strategy to get through them in one piece. 

Of course, you can't win races unless your hoverbike is in shape. Upkeep and customization will determine how difficult the road to victory will be.

When you sustain damage, you'll start to notice performance issues, such as your bike getting slower. Needless to say, keeping your bike in shape is a priority, which you can do at various shops... for a cost. 

Customization and Powering Up

You can customize your bike with various parts that yield special effects. Some parts give you more firepower, while others can help you obtain more cash. Some parts can even help you determine when the finish line is coming, helping you cut off your opponents at the right times.

You can also increase these effects with battery packs, which you can earn for every race you win. So the more you race, the more you'll have available. 

For example, you can significantly increase your firepower via battery packs, which will let you really wallop your opponents. However, the tradeoff is that it now takes longer to reload your weapon. 

The beauty here is that this system increases the depth of a game that on the surface, seems relatively simple. The opportunities are broad, and testing out combinations is half the fun. 

Life In The Big City

With nothing but a bike to your name, there's a certain feeling that you're on the fringe of society. The game drives this point home further by letting you know you're flat broke -- repeatedly.

You can't fix your bike, you can't eat, and you most definitely can't enter the Grand Prix if you're penniless. This is where your city life comes into play. It's a big city, after all, and there's a number of ways you can get paid.

Sure, you have your share of odd jobs like pizza delivery or race tutoring, but you can find more exciting gigs like bounty hunting or herd-farming as well. You'll also find the occasional dollar testing weapons and doing odd jobs, as well as investment opportunities. You can, of course, also score payouts from winning races.  

However, not everything is above board. Head to the red-light district and you'll find some not-so-legal options. You can throw races, damage other vehicles, and even hack bank accounts. Of course, these all net more funds than legitimate jobs, and, of course, these shady jobs do come with consequences: completing any job will raise your wanted level. If it gets high enough cops will come after you. 

Being Cool For Yourself

Desert Child, much like it's influences and aesthetics, prides itself on being unconventionally cool. Visually, you can see that this pixelated adventure isn't very detailed. But the entire game maintains that distinct look.

Desert Child's music also fits into that "cool loner" vibe; with tunes ranging from hip-hop, chill-hop (laidback jazz fusion), lofi-hip-hop, and even vaporwave, the album's worth of songs don't skip a beat. 

  • Races are fast
  • Relaxing music
  • Customizing your bike is fun
  • Visuals aren't the best
  • Difficulty spikes up randomly 
  • Controls could be better

Desert Child is a fun game to decompress with. The entire journey will take you a few hours to play through, all at your own leisure and pace.

Every time you get ready to race you can race or chill. If you select chill, you'll see our hero taking a smoke break while the game's soundtrack plays. This is a nice little quality of life option for players; what better way to enjoy your favorite tracks?

That sense of operating at your own speed is what makes this game unique to play. Even though you have this looming goal and serious work to do, why stress it? No saving the planet, stopping evil, and all that jazz. It's just you and that cool hoverbike taking things one race at a time.

Fans of indie games, RPGs, and racing games can find Desert Child available on Nintendo Switch eShop, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam today.

[Note: The publisher provided the copy of Desert Child used in this review.] 

Fortnite 7.01 Patch Notes Rundown Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:25:17 -0500 Jonathan Moore

We're a week into Season 7 of Fortnite, which means it's time for a new update. This week's 7.01 patch brings a lot to the popular battle royale, including the much-anticipated Creative Mode, a surprise in the new Infinity Blade weapon, and, as we've come to expect, loads of bug fixes. 

The patch went live this morning at 5 a.m. EDT; here's what you can expect when you log in, per the official Fortnite website and release notes. 

Creative Mode

Although it might sound similar, Fortnite's Creative Mode is a slightly different experience than its Playground Mode. 

Whereas Playground Mode allows players to explore the Fortnite map and practice their skills without fear of dying, Creative Mode is a more traditional sandbox mode that allows players to build their own islands using individual assets or prefabricated buildings. These creations can (eventually) be shared with friends or the community at large on Reddit, YouTube, and Twitch

The mode has been out for several days now, but it has only been available to Battle Pass owners. The 7.01 patch makes it available to all Fortnite players. 


Originally, Creative Mode had only four islands on which players could build structures. Patch 7.01 increases that number to five. 

Players will be able to "load creations that have been shared with the Island Code system", but as of this writing, Epic has said that the Island Code system will initially be available to only a select number of Fortnite players.

The company said the feature will be expanded over time, but it did not specify how quickly the feature would roll out to all Fortnite users. 


Epic has added six new prefabs to Creative Mode, all of which are modeled after Lucky Landing. Indestructible parts have also been added to prefabs. 

The obstacle course has been split into floors, walls, roof and stairs, and parts.


The new item spawner allows players to spawn one item per match after dropping it on the device, while the player checkpoint plate creates a respawn checkpoint that lets players "choose" where they respawn after they bite the dust. 

Other changes to devices include letting players use the player checkpoint plate to spawn at Island start instead of game start, and the player spawn device now allows for team spawning. 


Creative Mode now allows for infinite health, players can create a flag that keeps pre-built structures from being damaged during games, and building can now be blocked after games have started. 


Prior to 7.01, players could not switch to flying while their glider was deployed. That's now a thing of the past. Just double tap the jump button: "Space" on PC, "A" on Xbox One, and "X" on PS4. 

Players can also now fly upward by holding jump. 

Infinity Blade

Although Epic has pulled all three Infinity Blade games from the App Store, the developer has added a little Infinity Blade goodness to Fortnite. According to the official patch notes, the new melee weapon doles out some hefty damage and can be found in Polar Peak. 

Primary fire performs a sword slash that deals 75 damage to players, while alternate fire will let you jump "great distances", dealing 25 knockback damage upon landing. 

In addition, health and shield pools will increase to 200 when wielding the blade, and the weapon will provide 1HP regen per second. On top of those health buffs, the Infinity Blade also provides "an instant burst of effective Health upon elimination of an enemy (50 HP)" as well as "increased movement speed (130%)."

Removing the Infinity Blade from its location in Polar Peak instantly heals the first player to do so. 

The weapon appears only once per match. 

Save the World

As per the usual, Fortnite's Save the World mode takes a back seat to the game's battle royale offerings. 

This week, we get a single bug fix ("Storm Shield Defenses no longer grant reduced primary rewards if the 80% health bonus objective is failed"), alongside the return of Ralphie's Revenge, which will be in the weekly store from December 12 at 7 p.m. EDT to December 19 at 7 p.m. EDT. 


Those are the major additions in the new 7.01 update for Fortnite. For the full patch notes, head over here, where you'll find more info on Creative Mode tools and teams, UI, social, and performance tweaks, and changes to Fortnite mobile. 

China Introduces New Ethics Panel to Review Video Games Tue, 11 Dec 2018 10:29:41 -0500 Gabriella Graham

Via the Xinhua news agency, China has officially revealed an Online Games Ethics Committee.

The committee has already reviewed twenty different games. Meanwhile, the gaming world looks on, waiting to see what this means for evolving Chinese regulations.

What we know

The Chinese ethics committee operates under the ready guidance of the Communist Party’s propaganda department. Panel members include university and industry experts on video games and adolescence, as well as representatives from government research institutions and media outlets. (Participant names and specific contributing institutions have not been publicly released.)

Of the twenty games reviewed thus far, nine have been outright rejected for sale in China due to "improper content." Some of the prohibited games include H1Z1, PUBG, and Fortnite.

Requests for modifications were issued for the remaining eleven. Their respective developers must "eliminate moral hazard" and otherwise controversial material to have any hope for a stamp of approval. League of Legends, Overwatch, Diablo 3, and World of Warcraft are among the games that must make changes.

The new committee will continue to conduct ethical evaluations for games boasting online content.


A backdrop of fear and control

The reveal of this committee marks an important regulatory step following the suspension on licenses for new video games that began in March of 2018. The approval process screeched to a halt when the responsibility of clearing games for sale passed to the (also new) State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP).

Fears around epidemics of video game addiction and increasing myopia (or nearsightedness) among youths are driving change in China, like the installation of SAPP. 

The online ethics panel naturally sets themselves against these consequences as well while simultaneously removing sexually intimate or violent content from young hands.

A sign of hope or dark foreshadowing?

Speaking of the suspension around new game licenses, consumers and industry developers seem divided on the most recent development of an ethics panel. This committee could indicate that the current licensing freeze will lift in the near future, possibly with a schedule for new game releases before mid-2019. Hopeful evidence for this turnout comes from the quick work the committee made of the first twenty titles assigned to them.

Photo By Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

However, the new panel may also be a sign of more suffocating game regulations to come. There are even those observing China's market that have questioned whether or not this year's license freeze was "a deliberate attempt by the government to hurt the video game industry’s growth rate."

Regardless of the exact nature of future details, they promise to have a heavy effect on the video game industry at large. Granted, western developers like EA, Take-Two, and Ubisoft have been nonplussed by China's snail-paced approval process. But companies both large and small within the nation's borders have suffered considerable financial loss since March. Zacks reported:

The stalled approval process and stringent regulations have negatively impacted gaming companies like Tencent, NetEase and Bilibili [. . .] A number of Japanese game makers like Capcom, Nexon and Konami were also hurt due to their ties with Tencent and NetEase.

Keep in mind that Tencent and NetEase are the biggest game distributors in China, which in itself is the world's largest video game market.There's little doubt that decisions made by China's new ethics committee will be far-reaching.

In fact, Chinese regulations could push their larger video game companies to invest in western developers. Tencent alone lost $200 billion of their market value since January. It pays a company like that move away from an uncertain market at home and into the global market.

In this case, that means taking steps westward, new ethics committee or not.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Beginner's Tips Guide Mon, 10 Dec 2018 13:02:25 -0500 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

No matter how confident you are in your Smash skills, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate changes the formula in a lot of key ways.

Players will have to re-learn some of the basics in order to be competitive, from all-new defensive mechanics to the optimal ways in which to approach enemies.

Luckily, we've done a lot of the heavy lifting over release weekend and put together a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate beginner's guide to help you take part in Elite Smashes in no time. 

We'll cover, in the following order: 

  • Playing defense
    • Changes to rolling
    • Changes to perfect shield
  • Playing offense
    • Changes to smash attacks
    • Changes to short-hop aerials
  • How to use spirits
  • Tips and tricks for mitigating lag online
  • How to unlock characters

Playing Defense

Learning how to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can be slightly frustrating.

On the surface, it does play a lot like Super Smash Bros. For Wii U. But playing the game as if it were one of the previous versions will only end in despair.

Offensively, not much has changed, but the way that your character defends has changed drastically. If you're not sure where to start on your quest to git gud, we recommend focusing on defense first.

Don't Roll, Really ... 

If you're a constant roller, stop that right now. To make matches more interesting and to reward aggressive play, Nintendo has really nerfed the defensive capabilities of rolling.

What that means for you is that if you generally roll either as a defensive maneuver or, even worse, as a movement option, you'll quickly find that you're a lot more vulnerable than you expect.

Upon startup and finish, rolls have fewer invincibility frames, and as you roll more often, their effectiveness is reduced even further.

The good news is that there are plenty of other, better defensive options for you to use.

In most cases, simply jumping or running away from attacks works, as does shielding or sidestepping attacks. If you're playing as a character like Inkling, Wii Fit Trainer, or Kirby, you can also duck under plenty of attacks as well.

If you're having trouble breaking the habit, simply re-map your controls so that no buttons are mapped to shield. Play a few matches this way and force yourself to find defensive options that don't involve rolling.

Before long, you'll stop relying on it, and your play will improve dramatically. 

Changes to Perfect Shield

Another new wrinkle in the defensive game is the perfect shield mechanic.

Now, instead of a perfect shield occurring when you press the guard button at the perfect time, a perfect shield triggers when you drop shield at the right time. This is dangerous, as if you drop shield too early, you'll eat an attack, but the tradeoff is that, much like in 2D fighting games, this perfect guard will give you an opportunity to counterattack.

Learning this timing is super tough, and there's no shortcut to getting comfortable with it, so what we recommend is that you hop into practice mode, set the CPU to attack, and drill perfect guards until you're confident!

Playing Offense

On the offensive side of the ball, changes are a little more subtle, and the end result is that players have more tools to work with.

Charge Smash Attacks Longer

The first, and most obvious change, is that no matter what character you play as, you can now charge Smash attacks for a whole lot longer.

Obviously, you won't want to go around charging your attacks non-stop just trying to get lucky, but the new charge mechanics offer a lot of opportunities for mind games. Charging an attack can often give your opponent the sense that they can approach you, so if you can take advantage of that, you can catch them off guard.

Short-Hop Aerials

Another important change has to do with short-hop aerials, an advanced Smash Bros. technique that has been simplified for the new game.

Put simply, if you tap the jump and attack buttons at the same time, you'll perform a jumping attack that skims the ground. These are super-quick attacks that themselves can launch combos, so it's worth getting comfortable with them.

Spirits: A Primer

The spirit system in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can seem daunting at first blush, but it's pretty self-explanatory once you dig in a little bit.

The most important thing to remember (as the game will drill into your head through constant visual reminders) is that you'll need to equip spirits of a certain type to stand a chance during the game's Adventure mode or to pick up bounties on the Spirit board. 

Attack beats Grab, Grab beats Shield, and Shield beats Attack. 

Make sure to keep an eye on your opponent's spirit type so that you're always at an advantage, because some of these battles are really, REALLY tough.

Make sure you keep your spirits leveled up but focus more on the ones that have the "enhanceable" trait -- those will transform into more powerful spirits once they reach level 99. 

More importantly, at least when it comes to the Spirit board, don't be proud and go in without a team. You only get one shot at the bounties on the spirit board, so if you're after a Legend- or Ace-class bounty, make sure you give yourself every advantage possible -- especially when you're just starting out.

The game will tell you you'll get fewer rewards if you beat a bounty with a more powerful spirit team, and this is true, but it's also irrelevant. These rewards usually come in the form of SP, gold, or spirit snacks, so it's not worth it to risk missing out on unlocking the spirit just for those goodies, especially when the battles themselves are so hard.

Tips and Tricks for Mitigating Lag Online

You've probably heard this from everyone already, but it is highly recommended for you to snag a LAN adapter if you don't already have one. Wi-Fi connections are notoriously spotty, and generally, aren't suited to fast-paced fighting game action. 

Having said that, if setting up a wired connection to your Switch isn't possible, you're not completely sunk. You can actually mitigate a whole lot of lag super easily by fiddling with some settings in the Switch's menus.

What you'll want to do is open up your settings, then go to the Internet tab and select Internet settings. Once you're there, select the connection you're using, select Change Settings, then scroll down to the "MTU" setting.

By default, this is set to 1400, but most Wi-Fi networks support 1500 or more.

There's a handy Reddit thread that gives step-by-step instructions on how to deduce the optimal MTU for your network,
but for most folks' purposes, you should be able to just pop the number 1500 into the MTU settings and then perform a connection test.

If everything works, you're good to go! You should immediately notice that you have less lag, and your download speeds should be increased.

Unlocking Characters

There are a ton of different theories on the quickest way to unlock the game's entire 74-character roster, but this method is the most consistent one that we've been able to find. 

Here's how to do it: 

  1. Play for 10 or so minutes to unlock your first character.
  2. Save a rule setting
    • 10hp stamina one-on-one contest
  3. Change the language settings
    • This resets the game's internal timer
  4. Battle as Fox, Falco, or a quick projectile character
    • Fight against a level 1 CPU 
  5. Beat them to get a new challenger
    • Win or lose
    • Change language settings again
  6. Repeat

In my experience, it can sometimes take two or more battles between unlocking characters, so keep that in mind. Don't change the language setting until the next challenger appears.

Keep that up for a few hours, and you'll have unlocked the entire cast in no time!

Oh, and don't fret if you lose a few matches against the new challengers. Occasionally, when you lose, a door icon will appear on the "Games and More" section of the menu. Select it, and you'll get another chance at defeating one of the challengers you lost to before!


There's no better time to get into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate than right now. Everyone's still learning, the meta is in its infancy, and the whole world is playing.

With the tips in this beginner's guide, you'll be at the top of your game in no time!

Mortal Kombat 11 Release Date Announced at The Game Awards Fri, 07 Dec 2018 17:32:45 -0500 William R. Parks

As promised, last night's Game Awards not only focused on celebrating a year of great games, but it also looked forward to what the future of gaming holds, showcasing a slew of new game trailers and announcements. Amongst these reveals was one that is likely to have stood out to fighting game fans the world over: Mortal Kombat 11 is on its way.

Mortal Kombat 11 is set for release on April 23, 2019, and it is coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. This reveal was accompanied by an extravagantly violent trailer featuring Raiden and (apparently) two Scorpions locked in a brutal battle. While the meaning of these multiple manifestations of the undead ninja is open for speculation, there are further concrete details for fans to latch on to.

One such piece of information is that those that pre-order Mortal Kombat 11 will not only get access to Shao Kahn as a playable character, but they will also be invited to the fighter's closed beta. Pre-orders open on December 7, and the beta is scheduled for March, though it is important to note that only PS4 and Xbox One owners will be able to participate.

Furthermore, Mortal Kombat 11 will give players "unprecedented control to customize the fighters" with its new Custom Character Variations, and it includes a cinematic story mode. Additionally, it has been confirmed that the fighter utilizes a more powerful graphics engine than its predecessor.

While all of this information is a healthy start to getting fan excitement going, a Community Reveal Event is scheduled for January 17, and many further details are likely to be presented then. This may include elaboration on the "new and returning Klassic Fighters" that are said to comprise the game's roster.

Last weekend, an alleged Mortal Kombat 11 QA tester took to 4chan, leaking many details about the new fighter, including that it would emphasize customization and be revealed at The Game Awards. While these two statements are now proven, it is not a guarantee that the leaks are valid in full.

However, for those that do not wish to wait for new details at the Community Reveal Event, these assertions are still available on 4chan.

Western Release of Yo-Kai Watch 3 Confirmed as the Definitive Version Fri, 07 Dec 2018 16:19:16 -0500 Erroll Maas

Level-5 has confirmed via the Yo-Kai Watch official Twitter that the western version of Yo-Kai Watch 3 combines the three Japanese versions of the game into one.

Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi and Yo-Kai Watch 3: Tempura originally launched for Nintendo 3DS in Japan on July 16, 2016, while the updated version, Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki, launched on December 15, 2016.

While Yo-Kai from all three versions will be available in the western release, the developers still encourage players to trade Yo-Kai.

Yo-Kai Watch 3 launched on December 7, 2018 in Europe and will launch on December 8 in Australia, and will launch for North America on February 8, 2019. The next entry in the series, Yo-Kai Watch 4, is set to launch on Nintendo Switch in Japan some time in Spring 2019, after being delayed from its original launch window of Winter 2018.

The Game Awards: Persona 5's Joker Is Coming To Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:58:41 -0500 QuintLyn

During tonight's Game Awards show, Nintendo surprised everyone with a stealth announcement for the first DLC character to come to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Keep in mind that at the time of the the DLC announcement, the game still wasn't out yet.

Of course, the big news isn't just that a DLC character has already been announced for the popular brawler, but who that character is -- and what series they're from.

As it turns out, Nintendo is going all-in with this one and adding Joker from Persona 5 to the game's roster.

Players won't just be getting the character when they purchase the DLC, either. The pack -- which will cost $5.99 -- will also include music from Persona and a themed stage. 

Note that all Super Smash Bros. Ultimate packs will cost the same amount, so if you're planning on picking up most of the game's DLC, it might be worth looking into the "Fighters Pass" which costs $24.99. You'll get five packs and it will save you about $5.

No official date has been given on the Persona pack release, but considering it was announced tonight, it seems unlikely that it will take too long before players can purchase it.

The Game Awards: Pre-Show World Premieres Include Switch Rhythm Game Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:50:34 -0500 QuintLyn

Prior to the official kick-off of the annual video game celebration The Game Awards, fans and attendees got first-looks at several new games and a surprise announcement.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

The evening kicked off with the reveal trailer for a new Nintendo Switch Rhythm game from Simogo titled Sayonara Wild Hearts. The trailer gave a brief look at some of the characters but didn't offer any other information about the game other than that it should be available sometime in 2019.

Journey to the Savage Planet

The second early announcement was for a game from a brand new studio. Canadian company Typhoon Studios, along with 505 Games, Epic Games, and the Makers Fund, revealed their sci-fi adventure game Journey to the Savage Planet.

While the devs don't plan to show much in the way of gameplay until next year, they did explicitly state it is not a battle royale or survivial game.

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe

Possibly one of the biggest surprises among the announcements at The Game Awards was from the developer of The Stanley Parable. Five years after the game originally launched on PC, it is now coming to consoles.

It won't be a direct port, however. Instead, it will be an Ultra Deluxe version containing new endings and content along with the base game.

Among Trees

Another unexpected reveal was from self-described micro-studio FJRD Interactive. Their first game, Among Trees, is a survival adventure game slated to come to early access on Steam next year.

Not a lot is known about the gameplay, but the graphics are definitely eye-catching.

For more things Game Awards, head over to our Game Awards hub.

The Game Awards: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Announced As Nintendo Switch Exclusive Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:28:20 -0500 QuintLyn

A decade after the last game in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series was released, the next installment has finally been announced.

During tonight's Game Awards ceremony, Marvel Entertainment announced Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order with a world premiere trailer, which you can see above.

The game boasts a massive cast of Marvel characters, including the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the X-Men -- and it's coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.

The game's story focuses on Thanos and The Black Order's search for the Infinity Stones. Super heroes and villains must unite to stop them. 

The Black Order can be played online or offline via wireless. It also features a four-player co-op mode on the same console.

It should be noted that those wishing to play Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order online will need a Nintendo Switch Online membership as well as a Nintendo account.

The game is being developed by Team Ninja, which has developed the Dead or Alive series, Ninja Gaiden, Metroid: Other M, Nioh, and Fire Emblem Warriors

Fortnite's X-4 Stormwing Plane Locations and Stunts Guide Thu, 06 Dec 2018 21:49:50 -0500 William R. Parks

Today marks the beginning of Fortnite's seventh season, and it has brought a bevy of changes and content, including a wintery biome, new challenges, and the game's first ariel vehicle, the X-4 Stormwing Plane.

While this new vehicle may have a lot of fans excited, some may be wondering where to find one and what they can do with it once located.

The X-4 Stormwing Plane can seat up to five players, a pilot and four passengers, and it spawns in specific locations throughout the battle royale's map. While an X-4 will not always appear at every one of these locations, and there are likely to be more possible spawn points, this map (compiled from confirmed locations provided by Heavy and Eurogamer) can act as a guide for those that are looking to make their first Fortnite flight.

  • D3: On the mountain northeast of Pleasant Park
  • F3: By the river south of Lazy Links
  • B5: In the mountains north of Viking Village
  • F5: On the mountain west of Dusty Divot
  • I5: On the mountain by Loney Lodge
  • A8: In the hangers at Frosty Flights
  • B8: In a camp east of Frosty Flights
  • E8: On the mountain north of Happy Hamlet
  • H8: On a hill between Fatal Fields and Paradise Palms

As some players might expect, the new iceberg biome (at the bottom-left of the map) appears to have a high density of new planes, though there are opportunities to nab one throughout the map.

Once an X-4 has been acquired, and the basic controls have been understood, players can move on to performing stunts in their new plane. This includes flying the vessel upside down, by pressing the roll right and roll left inputs simultaneously, as well as the ability to perform an evasive maneuver by quickly pressing a roll button twice.

With the ability to locate an X-4, and some tips on trick flying, players should now be ready to hop in a plane and conquer their next Battle Royale match. Just remember, for those that are manning the plane's machine gun, this mounted weapon can overheat, and prolonged firing should be avoided when possible.

Fortnite: How to Complete All the Season 7, Week 1 Challenges Thu, 06 Dec 2018 10:44:21 -0500 William R. Parks

Fortnite's seventh season is now live, and with it comes a slew of new content for fans to sink their teeth into, including snowy peaks, an ariel vehicle, and a brand new creative mode. As always, a new season also means new challenges, and the Season 7, Week 1 challenges are now available.

For players that do not own a Battle Pass, there are three free challenges:

  1. Pickup an item of each rarity [5]
  2. Dance in different forbidden locations [7]
  3. Play matches with at least one elimination (HARD) [5]

The first and third challenges should be easily completed after playing a few matches, however, dancing in the seven forbidden locations will take a bit more work. This type of challenge was first introduced in Fortnite's third season, and it requires that players bust-a-move in front of signs depicting a crossed out dancer. Forbes has shared this handy map to help players find these locations:

While this is the full extent of this week's free challenges, Battle Pass owners will have access to four additional challenges (two of which consist of multiple parts):

  1. Stage 1: Dance on top of a crown of RV's; Stage 2: Dance on top of a Metal Turtle; Stage 3: Dance on top of a Submarine
  2. Deal Headshot Damage to opponents [500]
  3. Stage 1: Search Ammo Boxes in a single match (HARD) [5]; Stage 2: Search Chests in a single match [3]; Stage 3: Search Supply Drops in a single match [1]
  4. Eliminate opponents in different Named Locations (HARD) [5]

Challenges two, three, and four are easy enough, and should be completed through standard play, but the remaining multi-part challenge will require some additoinal effort.

In this challenge, players will need to find the three specified locations (in the order listed) and dance in them. An easy task, but players may be lost attempting to find these locations. Once again, Forbes has shared maps with them indicated:

There is a lot to explore and experience with today's Fortnite update, and plenty of players are certain to be excited about the newly introduced cosmetics. Completing these first week challenges is a great opportunity to get a jump-start on acquiring them.