Real Money Transactions Are Threatening My Love Of Destiny

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Destiny’s April Update is an entirely free collection of new content for anyone who enjoys the Destiny universe, and I applaud Bungie’s desire to provide something new to a hungry player base. I’ve detailed my thoughts on the good and bad of the new content here, but one particular aspect of the April Update has left me frustrated. As a longtime player, as well as a writer who has been tracking the game since prior to launch, I didn’t want the moment to pass without a mention. The microtransaction model in the game has reached a turning point, and I worry about the line that is being crossed.

Before anyone thinks we’re about to start down an all-too-familiar hate train, I’d like to keep the conversation in check. I comprehend the business realities facing Activision and Bungie, and my many conversations with the people crafting the game have revealed a development team at least as fascinated and devoted to the joy of the game as any of its fans. They want this game to be the best experience possible, and whether gamers like it or not, that takes money. I understand the need to fund ongoing development. 

Should You Come Back For Destiny’s April Update?

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Destiny players have had a long wait for new content. September’s The Taken King expansion was broadly praised, both for its new content and the way it reworked existing mechanics. For several weeks afterward, the community was thrilled with the experiences on offer. In the interim, we’ve had a few small, limited-time events, like the Sparrow Racing League and the Festival of the Lost. However, there’s been little in the way of new core gameplay experiences. This week’s free update changes that, with a content drop that sits somewhere between a large patch and a small expansion. But if you’re a lapsed player, is it enough to bring you back?

That was an easy question to answer with The Taken King – an unqualified yes, thanks to smart changes across the board to gameplay, and an abundance of fundamentally new experiences. Needless to say, the April Update is nowhere near the size of that ambitious offering last September. But even stripping away considerations of the scope of the content, the April Update is a mixed bag of good and bad. 

Chronicles – Watch Episode Nine Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

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Chronicles – Watch Episode Nine Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

The Dark Souls franchise continues with a powerful third entry into the world of dark, demanding fantasy action. Join Daniel Tack, Andrew Reiner, Kyle Hilliard, and Javy Gwaltney in an epic game of "pass the sticks" as they attempt to conquer fantastic environments and towering bosses in From Software's latest ashen wasteland. Be aware that there may be spoilers as we move from episode to episode.

Will the crew finish? Will they smash controllers in frustration? Or will the team find new strength and resolve to persevere in the face of relentless and uncaring foes? Will the team go the extra mile and complete the game or go hollow as they bash against the endless tides of freakish minions? Find out on Chronicles: Dark Souls III edition.

Check out our review of Dark Souls III here.

5 Things To Know About Gears Of War 4’s Multiplayer

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A week ago we were finally able to get some hands-on time with Gears of War 4's multiplayer (about two hours' worth of time to be precise) and also got to hear some of The Coalition’s long-term plans for the multiplayer component. You can watch footage of me wrecking and getting wrecked here if you want to get straight to that, but here are some of the big takeaways from my time with the game and what The Coalition told us about its plans.

The new Dodgeball mode is ridiculously fun.

I was able to play both team deathmatch and a new mode called Dodgeball with other players during the session. Dodgeball is a variant of team deathmatch where once you’re killed you’re out of the game for good…unless one of your teammates kills an opponent. If that happens, you’re brought back into the game. If there are several people dead on a team, they’ll be placed in a queue, with each kill bringing back the person at the front of the respawn line .

How To Get Married In Dark Souls III

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While many role-playing games feature matrimony in some fashion, the way it’s presented in Dark Souls III is a decidedly darker way to express tying the knot. Warning, there are tons of spoilers ahead. Don’t read this unless you’re ready to unearth some big secrets involving multiple questlines.

Still here? Great. Getting married in Dark Souls III ties in directly to the game’s most hidden ending – The Usurpation of Fire. We’ll break down what you need to do step by step so you don’t miss a critical choice at the right moment – it can be surprisingly easy to do and lock you out of the ending until your next playthrough or new game+(++, +++, etc.)

The first thing you want to do is to prepare the Yoel and Yuria questline. Here’s how you do it. Immediately after killing Vordt in the High Wall of Lothric, take the gargoyle ferry over to the undead settlement. Instead of approaching the gates and moving into the zone, take a hard left in the area where the dogs are let loose on the hapless hollows trying to get in the settlement. You hear a voice in a sea of what appears to be dead Londor pilgrims. One of them isn’t quite dead yet. His name is Yoel, and you just have to talk to him a few times to get him to go take up residence at your Firelink Shrine.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 14, 2016)

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This week features mechs, horror, and more! A lot more, because we kind of maybe got busy last week and weren't able to post Blog Herding. That just means more sweet, sweet blogs for all of you to read! 

Community Blogs For March 31 – April 13:  

Flash of Brilliance: Why DC's The Flash Deserves His Own Video Game MightyMagikarp is correct: Flash needs to be in a game he can call his own. As a fan of him in cartoons, comics, and the hit TV show, I can say with confidence that if done right, this could be the next great superhero game. This blog is a long read, but stick with it.  

Test Chamber – Checking Out Gears Of War 4's Multiplayer And New Dodgeball Mode

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During our cover trip for Gears of War 4, we didn't get that many details about the game's multiplayer modes. However, editor Javy Gwaltney recently got to spend around two hours with team deathmatch and a gameplay mode that's new to the series, Dodgeball.

Dodgeball is a 5v5 team deathmatch variant where every person on both teams is limited to a single respawn, so once you're out, you're out...unless a teammate kills an opponent and brings you back into the game. It's an exciting mode with a lot of back and forth, and we've got footage of it (and some gameplay of standard team deathmatch) right here as well as our cheery commentary.

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The Rocky History Of Live-Action Shows Based On Games

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The Rocky History Of Live-Action Shows Based On Games

The intersection of live-action shows and video games is a strange thing. There have been plenty of animated shows based on games, but the live-action adaptations have often been odd, awkward attempts at bridging games and the real world. However, they’ve also changed dramatically with time – from the cringeworthy live-action/animation hybrids like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Captain N all the way up to more modern takes like Defiance and Bright Falls. Dozens of live-action films based on games have been released throughout the years, but serialized TV programs are comparatively rare. With the recent launch of Quantum Break and its own unique use of live-action in a game, we’ve decided to share a brief history of live-action shows based on games to see how the concept has transformed up to today.

Opinion – Some Of The Best Stories In Games Aren’t Spoon-Fed

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I remember my first hour with Dark Souls. It was 2011. I was slowly creeping back into video games after being away from them for four years. Chatter about Souls’ difficulty had been flying about my social network feeds for weeks. Friends from college who didn’t play games kept talking about how amped they were to play something that harkens back to the punishing difficulty of old-school adventure games and platformers.

As someone who spent hours upon hours of his childhood tackling Mega Man and ridiculously obtuse text adventures, I was in. I bought Dark Souls from a Target down the street, pushed it into my Xbox 360’s disc tray and sat through the lengthy installation process. When the game finally loaded up, I was treated to a stunning introduction filled with dragons and necromancy, a hodgepodge of maddening poetry from which I could discern no straightforward plotline. There was something about the age of men, a rebellion, some sad dude holding a little flame in malnourished arms as well as an old woman narrator fond of the phrase “ah yes, indeed” for some reason. 

How Final Fantasy's Past Is Shaping Bravely Default's Future

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With the impending release of Bravely Second: End Layer for Nintendo 3DS on April 15, we asked co-producer at Square Enix Masashi Takahashi about the sequel to the 2014 surprise-hit JRPG, Bravely Default. We wanted to find out how the game has changed during localization, what design decisions shaped the game, and where the series will go from here.

Recently, Nintendo made a statement detailing that some dialogue at the end of side quests is being changed for the U.S. version of Bravely Second: End Layer. Japanese players felt dissatisfied with how their party lamented the quest’s conclusion regardless of the player’s choices. Are there any stand out pieces of feedback that were considered for Bravely Second?We put together a survey to collect user opinions on 100 proposed improvements. Despite the sheer number of questions, a great many players took the time to answer. In the end, we were proud to implement 80 of these improvements (with seven proving too difficult to address, and another 13 deemed better as is). They were reflected for the international release of Bravely Default, and now in Bravely Second. They range from extremely fine details, like skippable logos when starting the game, to now-standard features, like the auto-advance mode for cutscenes.