The Sports Desk – The Madden 17 Developers Answer Your Questions

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The Sports Desk – The Madden 17 Developers Answer Your Questions

Madden 17's August 23 release is fast approaching, but we understand that you still might have some questions about this year's title. That's why we've reached out to both you, the readers, as well as the game's developers at EA Tiburon; you had questions, and now they're providing the answers. Sit back and find out everything you (all of you) wanted to know about Madden 17.

Thanks to EA Tiburon's Rex Dickson (creative director), John White (franchise lead designer), and Michael Hoag (presentation designer), for taking time out of their busy schedules and answering all your questions (BTW, ignore the doofus asking them in the video below).

Your questions covered a good range of topics, from customization to the the nitty-gritty of franchise mode. Formation substitution fans – you're going to want to watch this!

Touring Felwinter Peak, Destiny: Rise Of Iron's New Social Space

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Touring Felwinter Peak, Destiny: Rise Of Iron's New Social Space

Last week we had a brief look at Destiny: Rise of Iron's new social space, called Felwinter peak, in our video showing off gameplay, but now we want to take a deeper dive into the new area. While visiting Bungie for our cover story on Destiny: Rise of Iron, we spoke with game director Christopher Barrett and executive producer Scott Taylor about the design and gameplay implications for Felwinter Peak. The video also features another new music track from Destiny: Rise of Iron, so we hope you enjoy!

Watch the interview below to learn more about Felwinter Peak, its wolves, and its mysterious secrets.

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Revisiting One Of The Worst Fighting Games Ever With Our New Fighting Game Expert

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Revisiting One Of The Worst Fighting Games Ever With Our New Fighting Game Expert

We decided to put Game Informer's newest team member and fighting games expert Suriel Vazquez to the test by having him use his expertise to judge one of the worst fighting games in the history of mankind – Simpsons Wrestling.

Join the Summer 2016 intern crew Haley MacLean, Leo Vader, AJ Moser, and least handsome Blake Hester as we check out if this bible-throwing, Maggie dropping, Barney belching “fighting” game holds up to the horrendous reviews it received upon release. After testing out a few characters, Suriel passes judgement and we learn if Simpsons Wrestling scores higher than the original 2/10 Andrew Reiner awarded the game back in 2001.

(Please visit the site to view this media)Simpsons Wrestling is just one of many in the long lineage of Simpsons video games, head here for a full list from The Simpsons Arcade Game in 1991 to mobile game Tapped Out in 2012.

Our Favorite Pokémon Finds On Etsy

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Our Favorite Pokémon Finds On Etsy

With the popularity of Pokémon Go and the release of Pokémon Sun & Moon just around the corner, the franchise is as hot as it’s ever been. Along with this resurgence comes an influx of Pokémon-themed merchandise, and if you happen to be scouring the web for the best Pokémon gear, you’re in luck. From Pokémon bath bombs to Kanto badges of your very own, we’ve collected some of our favorite Pokémon items on Etsy into one helpful list.

Indigo League Badges iCollected has made the dream of every Pokémon Red/Blue player a reality by making a real-life set of the Indigo league badges. Instead of diligently fighting every gym owner like Ash, you can purchase the pins for $3.86 each (or $15.56 for the set of 8) and cut out the middleman. In light of Pokémon Go’s popularity, the store also has sets of team Valor, Mystic, and Instinct pins, as well as badge sets for other regions such as Kalos, Johto, Hoenn, and more.    

Replay – Sonic Unleashed

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Replay – Sonic Unleashed

In past episodes, we've looked at one of Sonic the Hedgehog's best releases in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. In a subsequent episode, we dove into arguably the worst Sonic game in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. Now, we're looking at a one of the games Sega and Sonic Team tried to release to bounce back from the backlash that came from Sonic '06: Sonic Unleashed.

Sonic Unleashed once again puts you in the shoes of Sega's speedy mascot as he takes on Dr. Robotnik/Eggman. This time, however, Sonic turns into a werehog at night, stripping him of most of his speed and giving him abilities like super strength and stretchy arms. Join Jeff Cork, Kyle Hilliard, Andrew Reiner, and me as we dive into this game and see if it's as bad as so many people have painted it over the years. Be sure to stick around to see us try to grind our way down an apocalyptic ski slope in the forgotten snowboarding game Dark Summit.

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Question Of The Month: What Would Make The Nintendo NX A Must-Buy Console?

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Question Of The Month: What Would Make The Nintendo NX A Must-Buy Console?

In issue 279, we asked readers what the Nintendo NX needs to win them over and make it a must-buy console. Now it's your turn to weigh in.

The responses we received from magazine readers outlined a laundry list of features any successful console needs, with a slightly greater focus on Nintendo's past weaknesses. First and foremost was the games themselves – including new entries in Nintendo's stable of long-running, beloved series, as well as broader third-party support. A better and more user-friendly online network was also a priority for many readers, along with backwards compatibility for games and Nintendo's popular Amiibo figurines. Another popular request? No more gimmicks for the NX's controller or the system itself – just the power of a modern-day console.

What does the Nintendo NX need to make it a must-buy console for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you're not done sounding off, check out our previous Question of the Month: What is your next must-buy game?

How Franchise Flavor Seeps Into The Elder Scrolls: Legends

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How Franchise Flavor Seeps Into The Elder Scrolls: Legends

While the Elder Scrolls: Legends is much different than a traditional role-playing game, iconic elements from the franchise manifest themselves in Bethesda’s digital card game (playable now in a no-plans-for-wipe open beta). If you are sneaking a sly Khajiit behind enemy lines as part of a pilfering plan, conjuring up terrible Daedric power, or cobbling together a Dwemer army from spare parts, many deck-building options available draw upon the rich history of the Elder Scrolls universe.

The most obvious examples of the heavy hitters from the Elder Scrolls universe are exemplified with Legendary cards. Here you find things like the massive Odahving, who bakes the opponent’s side of the board when he swoops onto the table, the eccentric Wabbajack that randomly transforms creatures, or even a dragon priest that lets you play your next card for free. Legendary cards are the clearest examples of flavor ripped right from the games, and in many cases can also carry the “unique” designation, meaning a player can only use one of each specific unique in a standard 50-card deck. 

Top Of The Table: The Games Of Gen Con 2016

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Top Of The Table: The Games Of Gen Con 2016

For tabletop enthusiasts, August is a time of celebration. That’s because Gen Con, the largest hobby games convention in North America, promises to bring a bevy of new releases, announcements, and perhaps most importantly, opportunities to get together and play games. The massive convention in Indianapolis has blossomed from its original incarnation in 1968, when it was established by D&D co-creator Gary Gygax as a wargaming get-together.

Today, tabletop gaming companies from around the world gather to show off their best. “Publishers love to launch games at Gen Con, and that is nothing new,” says Gen Con’s vice president of business development Scott Elliott. “It’s fair to say that Gen Con has been the launch pad for gaming for almost half a century. The modern games industry, digital, paper, and otherwise, is filled by people who grew up playing face-to-face games, and many of those games and game companies got their starts at Gen Con. With the increase in crossovers and ports between digital and table top gaming, Gen Con attendees see innovations that others have to wait to experience.”

Life Of An Exotic: The Return Of Destiny’s First Weapon

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Life Of An Exotic: The Return Of Destiny’s First Weapon

With Destiny’s newest expansion, Rise of Iron, Bungie is giving fans a shot of nostalgia in the form of an automatic rifle. The Khvostov was the first weapon players picked up when they started playing Destiny almost two years ago, and that classic rifle will soon return with a significant power boost as one of Destiny’s newest exotic weapons. We sat down with Bungie’s art director Shiek Wang and lead designer Ryan Paradis as they explained the Khvostov’s trajectory back into relevance.

An Exotic Two Years In The MakingBungie didn’t think much of the Khvostov when they originally created it. It was the first weapon players used, so it served a purpose in helping provide players with a positive early experience, but it was quickly followed by a thousand more powerful weapons with a host of more useful perks.

“I think it was very much like, ‘Hey, we need an old weapon that speaks to European design language, pick this reference, use it, make it look broken.’ And then we moved on to designing other things,” says art director Shiek Wang.

Test Chamber – Slinging Spells In Shadowverse

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Test Chamber – Slinging Spells In Shadowverse

Players have a ton of options competing for their digital trading card game time these days, one of which is the mobile offering Shadowverse.

While many of the mechanics are easy to pick up and play right from other popular DCGs like Hearthstone, each class in Shadowverse comes with unique rules that facilitate completely different playstyles.

The evolve ability also adds some depth to timing and finesse to the game. Join Daniel Tack and Wade Wojcik as they see if they can master the mechanics of two different classes in a few quick brawls in this episode of Test Chamber!