Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (July 13, 2017)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (July 13, 2017)

A lot of blogs covered Castlevania's animated Netflix show this week, while other offer blogs on art, as well as masterpiece that is Portal 2. Enjoy!

Community Blogs For July 6 – July 12:

The Essentials Challenge: Starter Pack – Portal 2 Poor StarterPack had a rough time finishing Portal 2 (check out the post comment). But even though it nearly melted his PC, it is still a marquee game experience. I have fond memories of the solo experience and the cooperative experience, even if both puzzled me at times. Oh, and insert the obligatory 'cake is a lie' joke here!

RPG Grind Time – Why I'm Glad BioWare's Next Game Is A New IP

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RPG Grind Time – Why I'm Glad BioWare's Next Game Is A New IP

Change is an inevitability that's necessary to grow. In this risk-averse industry, it's also approached with trepidation. Finding a winning combination is hard, and it's understandable why developers and publishers often don't like to stray from what's proven. Why not stick to what works, refining the little things? BioWare has always been an interesting studio to me, and one of my personal favorites. It has a knack for storytelling, creating compelling characters, experimenting with player choice, and crafting fascinating universes that pull you in with their inner conflicts. Last generation, the studio really hit its stride with Mass Effect and Dragon Age, appealing to a wider audience and showing firsthand the power of storytelling and letting players choose what avenues they want to explore. Both series were widely successful and put more eyes (and demands) on BioWare than ever before. This has come with its pluses and minuses.

Fly High With Spider-Man: Homecoming Figure Photos

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Fly High With Spider-Man: Homecoming Figure Photos

Spider-Man is a hot property right now. The new movie is a big success, and Insomniac’s upcoming video game adaptation won a lot of favor and attention at E3 just a few weeks ago. If you’re looking for a way to express your fandom, a lot of Spider-Man toys and products are out there. I’m a longtime collector of Marvel memorabilia, and one of my favorite figure lines is Hasbro's six-inch scale Marvel Legends line; I figured it would be fun to take a closer look at the newest line connected to Spider-Man: Homecoming, as the figures themselves and the high detail visible in the set make them worth a close look.

The new movie-focused line includes seven figures, and you’ll need to snag all of them if you want to put together the pièce de résistance of the wave – Vulture’s wings. Each of the seven characters (including Vulture himself) comes with a small part of the apparatus that eventually connects to make the wings. Those wings can then be attached to the Vulture figure for an “in-flight” version of the Spider-Man villain that includes some impressive poseability and points of articulation.

The full seven-figure set includes three characters/costumes drawn from the movie (two Spider-Man figures and Vulture), and the rest are characters linked to the Spider-Man mythology in important ways. 

Everything You Need To Know About Today's Online Protest To Protect Net Neutrality

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Everything You Need To Know About Today's Online Protest To Protect Net Neutrality

Your web browsing may slow to a crawl when visiting certain sites. Images may appear broken (or take longer to load, like Reddit's logo), and video streaming might result in a lot of buffering. What's going on? Hundreds of tech websites are participating in a "Day of Action" protest today, against the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) call to repeal net neutrality laws.

It's a complex but important topic that could change how you browse the internet and how much of your browsing data is given to internet service providers (ISPs). Today, websites are simulating a future that moves away from the free, open, worldwide web we know today, to show the public what that would be like. Here's everything you need to know, who is involved, and how you can participate.

What is net neutrality?

Check Out Five Minutes Of Splatoon 2's Dualies In Action

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Check Out Five Minutes Of Splatoon 2's Dualies In Action

Dual-wielding weapons in Splatoon 2 is ridiculously fun, and we have five minutes of footage that shows off just how much carnage the Splat Dualies can deliver. This video is a montage of three stages, all from the game's second world. We begin with Level 4: Enter the Octohurler, move on to the next stage, The Octopark, and conclude with Level 8: Spinning Campground.

The Splat Dualies we show off are in their default settings, but they are not the weapon you'll use in most of these stages on the first playthrough. What you are viewing are our second playthroughs of the levels. We hope you enjoy the video. Splatoon 2's July 21 release date is right around the corner.

Stay tuned to Game Informer for more coverage of this anticipated Switch title over the course of the next week.

Science-Fiction Weekly – Westworld, The Dark Tower, Black The Fall

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Westworld, The Dark Tower, Black The Fall

HBO's official Discover Westworld website has been updated with a cryptic tease for the forthcoming (and still undated) season two. As the site loads, an employee or visitor within the park frantically writes "Is anybody out there? Something's gone wrong? We need help, can you hear the.." The message cuts off, the system is overtaken, and a different "registered user" writes "All is well. Celebrations continue." We also see the words "Journey into Night" appear. That's the name of Dr. Robert Ford's final program. We heard him talk about it to the Delos board in Escalante. He also activated this  program before the rebellion. The first episode of season two is believed to be titled "Journey Into Night." Rumors swirling in fan groups suggest this second season will focus on the guests trapped in the park. We'll find out exactly what's happening when the show returns in 2018.

The Sports Desk – Worrying About Madden 18's Connected Franchise Mode

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The Sports Desk – Worrying About Madden 18's Connected Franchise Mode

Madden's career mode is my bread and butter. Behind the quality of the gameplay, it's what most interests me from year to year. It's therefore unfortunate that there likely aren't any big changes to Madden 18's Connected Franchise Mode (CFM). I hoped the dev team down at EA Tiburon would address some of the areas I've included on my M18 wishlist, and maybe that will still happen, but based on recent comments from creative director Rex Dickson I don't expect any big new features for CFM. While I'd love it if CFM was the focus of Madden 18, some details about the developer's plans for the mode in future years has me worried that my vision for CFM and that of the devs don't completely match up.

At the EA Play event before E3 last month, Dickson was pretty candid in interviews like this one with SimFBallCritic (via Operation Sports) that we weren't going to see an overhaul or an influx of new features for CFM. Dickson says that the reasons for this include devoting time and resources to migrating over to Frostbite engine and syncing CFM with EA Tiburon's NBA Live franchise. The former is an understandable move that is already paying dividends for Madden in terms of how the game looks as well as The Longshot story mode (more on that and its ties to CFM later). The latter, however, concerns me.

Replay – Revelations: Persona

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Replay – Revelations: Persona

Persona 5 isn't just one of the best games of 2017, it's one of the greatest RPGs to date. In Game Informer's recently released Top 100 RPGs of All Time list, Persona 5 sits at number 19. Persona 4 is not far behind it at 30. These great adventures are trendsetting today, but their DNA is still tightly sewn to the first entry in the series, Revelations: Persona, which released for PlayStation in 1996.

We give you a good look at the opening moments of this historic game. Before you ask, we do reach a couple of battles to show off how fighting and persuasion are handled. We also discuss all things Persona, including the Shin Megami Tensei if... series that it's linked to. Joe Juba shows us that old games like this are not as intuitive as our memories make them out to be.

In our second segment we take a look at Ubisoft's most underrated game. No, you haven't heard of it, and no, we don't think Ubisoft will ever revisit it...unless you demand it over and over again.

Super Replay – Overblood 2 & Blue Stinger Bonus Episodes

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Super Replay – Overblood 2 & Blue Stinger Bonus Episodes

Thanks to your amazing support during last year's 25-hour Extra Life livestream, we raised over $52,000 for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. As a thank you for your support, we said we would play through the bonus episode in Overblood 2, and at long last show you what is inside of the strip club in Blue Stinger. We wanted to make sure we did this right, and it took some time to get the old Overblood crew back together for these episodes.

Matt Helgeson, Tim Turi, Dan Ryckert, and Ben Hanson join me for a journey back into these terrible games. In true Replay fashion, nothing goes as planned. We figured both games would take us under an hour. As you can see from the video times below, we went well beyond that, and even needed to send video boy Leo Vader on a mission to get drinks.

Thanks again for all of your support during Extra Life. You guys rock, and we hope we can reunite for similar fun this year for another Extra Life marathon.