The Sports Desk – Glitches, Every NBA 2K17 Shoe & Football Manager 2017

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As much as we love the sports games we play, that doesn't mean we can't have some fun at their expense from time to time. So this week I've included a few examples of when the good times go bad, or at least humorous.

The YouTube videos below are just a few examples of the funny glitches that gamers have found, and while they certainly show some crazy things happening, I don't know which platforms these posters are on or even if they've since been patched out of the games. It's just a lighthearted look, and surely some amusing fodder for this year's Glitchy awards...

Kicker Ices the Game – Madden NFL 17

Why Ubisoft Trusted The Rocksmith Team With South Park

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Why Ubisoft Trusted The Rocksmith Team With South Park

Fans of Obsidian's South Park: The Stick of Truth might have been surprised to hear that the television show's next RPG is being made by Ubisoft San Francisco, the developers behind the music-rhythm game Rocksmith. While visiting the studio for our November cover story on South Park: The Fractured But Whole, we spoke with senior producer Jason Schroeder and director of design Paul Cross about how the team went from third-party consultants on Ubisoft-published games to tackling an ambitious RPG alongside Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Watch the video below to learn more about the studio behind the new game and what the future holds for potential future South Park games.

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Replay – The Silver Case

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Replay – The Silver Case

On Replay, we usually take a look at games that were released years ago. This week, we're doing something a bit different: although The Silver Case was released in Japan in 1999, it's only now become available in English via a PC, HD remaster.

The Silver Case was the first game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio lead by eccentric and legendary game designer Suda Goichi. Like most of Suda's work, it's incredibly weird, both thematically and mechanically. You kind of have to meet it on its own terms and roll with some of its weirder aspects.

That's why Andrew Reiner, Kyle Hiliard, Jeff Cork, and I decided to do the exact opposite: laugh at all the dialogue and make up voices for all the characters in this visual novel. You can watch us do that in the video below.

Test Chamber – An Early Look At Jackbox Party Pack 3's Best Games

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Test Chamber – An Early Look At Jackbox Party Pack 3's Best Games

Sure, there are a lot of games out there that let players express themselves. But how many let you compete with friends over the best fart joke? Next Tuesday, Jackbox Games (the creators of You Don't Know Jack) are releasing their third party game bundle entitled Jackbox Party Pack 3. Featuring four new party games and a sequel to the beloved Quiplash, Jackbox Party Pack 3 is designed for you and a group of friends to use your phone to compete in trivia or just some general absurdity. On this episode of Test Chamber, Jeff Corkj and I are joined by Jackbox Games' Arnie Niekamp and Ryan DiGiorgi to walk through some of the new games in the bundle this year.

Watch the video below to watch us compete in a deadly Trivia Murder Party, Guesspionage, and the ol' classic Quiplash.

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Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First Three Hours

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Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First Three Hours

Last year, over the course of four months, we played through Shenmue for the Dreamcast in its entirety. It was an experimental video series, with an undefined schedule that allowed us to take in all the feedback for each episode by reading and responding to comments in (almost) real time. The experiment was a success! So we immediately decided (after playing through Dark Souls III, Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon, Shadow of the Colossus, and Resident Evil 4) that there was no time like the present to return to Yu Suzuki's masterpiece. For the sequel, we're playing the Xbox version that was published by Microsoft in 2002.

In the first episode we explore the city a little bit, make a friend with a fellow capsule toy collector, and get all our stuff stolen. There's also a lady who forgot to finish getting dressed who really likes her motorcycle. In episode two, we make some progress by giving a hungry guy who loves naps some money, and getting a job that's almost as cool as being a forklift driver. We punch a tree in episode three.

Stay tuned for more episodes at some point, and leave us lots of comments! We'll probably read yours on the next episode.

Five Great Games About The Great War

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If EA and DICE have learned anything over the last fourteen years, it’s how to cut a great trailer. The Battlefield 1 reveal at E3 made everyone watching sit up and take notice. It’s a pulse-pounding, swashbuckling, violent montage of biplanes, horses, tanks, and soldiers in gas masks, all realized in a vibrant color palette that could hardly be further from the teal and orange that’s saturated the last two entries in the series.

But what really turned heads was the decision to set the hit military shooter in World War 1. There have been precious few games to use “The Great War” as a backdrop, and it’s not a conflict that’s very well-understood in general. Particularly since Saving Private Ryan, movie-goers and gamers alike have had boatloads of modern-day material on the Second World War to pore over and play through.

You have to dig a bit deeper to find games that help put World War 1 in context. That’s partly because it’s a difficult war to portray in a way that makes sense in games. The causes and factions involved were complex and numerous, and with the dawn of industrialized warfare came many false starts and some of the most horrible carnage humanity has ever seen. Beginning in July, 1914 and lasting to November 11, 1918, estimates put the war’s death toll at about 11 million soldiers and 7 million civilians.

Top Of The Table – Mansions Of Madness

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A slithering monstrosity that defies imagination is clawing its bulbous mass up the attic stairs, even as you and your friends desperately shout out the words that might dispel the portal from which it emerged. Your fellow investigator charges down the stairs, 2x4 raised high, in a hopeless dash to slow its advance. In the corner, another companion cowers, already driven insane by the night’s horrors. The once majestic house is coming apart around you, even as you face the terrible truth of what lies within the void beyond the world. 

That’s the sort of emergent narrative that arises in a game of Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, a dramatic reworking of an already excellent game from the folks at Fantasy Flight Games. Drawing on the themes and the Cthulhu Mythos established by H.P. Lovecraft, the original release in 2011 (designed by Corey Konieczka) established the fun potential inherent to a narrative-focused adventure game built around individual encounter scenarios and a branching, guided narrative. That first release used a one-versus-many structure, in which one player takes on the role of the “Keeper” of the mansion, while all the other players work together to try and overcome the Keeper’s machinations. 

The Classes And Character Sheets Of South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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South Park: The Fractured But Whole may be a game about super heroes, but it’s still an RPG. You will still find many elements of fantasy role-playing games in its structure, and one of those elements are classes. What class you choose and how it affects your player, however, is much different from South Park: The Stick of Truth.

At the game’s opening, after you’ve customized your character, you choose between three classes: Brutalist, Blaster, and Speedster. Each of those classes has four abilities. The Brutalist is the strong class, the Blaster is the ranged class, and the Speedster is the fast class. After you make your choice, Cartman explains your backstory and you get a quick tutorial on the abilities of your chosen class. You can actually try each class out before making your final decision, which is indicative of how classes play out for the rest of the game.

The Three Major VR Headsets Are All Available – What’s The Current State Of The Platform?

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The Three Major VR Headsets Are All Available – What’s The Current State Of The Platform?

Today marks the release of PlayStation VR, the final major release for this new generation of virtual reality. Kyle Hilliard and I have been playing games on that device in the past few weeks, as well as on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR. There are a lot of competing formats, which makes the idea of spending hundreds of dollars to get into VR a little scary. With that in mind, we thought it would be useful to share our experiences and opinions on the current state of virtual reality, now that the major options are now on shelves.

Jeff: Kyle, do you know what today is?

Kyle: Sammy Hagar and Sacha Baron Cohen's birthday?