An Assortment Of Lesser-Known No Man's Sky Facts

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As we near the end of our month of No Man's Sky coverage, it's time to focus on the smaller details. This game is huge and has many elements that inspire questions about space, gameplay, science, and more. Read on for excerpts from our extensive interviews with Hello Games' managing director Sean Murray about things you may be curious about, but never got a straight answer on.

Will There Be Mod Support?Sean Murray: I think PC games should have Mods and the ability to mod. I almost feel like we need to give them the tools otherwise then they're just going to start making them, tearing apart your game. That's what I have more of a fear of. I think if they get in there and they just start disassembling it they will end up creating parallel universes; like genuinely that's what would happen. They would change the numbers and then someone else would be playing in a different universe, but still posting to our servers.  

Catching Up With Madden 15

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Catching Up With Madden 15

The annual Madden game comes out in the pre-season when hope is always high. Your team is 0-0, so unless you truly live in a black hole of sports despair (and I know what that's like), the dream hasn't been spoiled yet. Naturally, everyone plays the new Madden when it's fresh, but people also fall off and play other games as more titles come out for the holiday season and perhaps people get tired of playing Madden. In this online age, however, games are always changing with updates, etc. With that in mind, here are a few reasons to pick up and play the game again.*

Developer EA Tiburon has been updating the rosters each week to reflect roster movement around the league and changes in players' form – whether that's Giants' receiver Odell Beckham Jr. getting a 99 spectacular catch rating (up over 14 points from when the game shipped) or players being downgraded in accordance with their real-life decline.

The game has also received some updates aimed at fixing bugs – including resolving a bad one at launch where players' online games in Connected Franchise against each other weren't registering – as well as improving uniforms with patches and other changes, and general tuning.

Dreaming Of Video Games – Researchers Investigate How Playing Games Affects The Sleeping Mind

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Art by Tristan Hilliard

If you play video games, then there is a high probability you’ve dreamt about one of your interactive experiences. Maybe you’ve walked the grasslands of Hyrule, sprinted through a science-fiction battlefield, or seen Tetris blocks falling into place while you were asleep. Whatever the scenario, video games are particularly adept at appearing in dreams, which is a fascinating phenomenon for those who study the sleeping brain.

[This feature originally appeared in Game Informer issue #254]

Five Big Wishes For 2015

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As the year draws to a close, it's time to shift our focus to 2015. Here's my list of five big things I hope we see in it.

Shape Up Or Don't Ship OutIn 2014, broken games reached a...well, breaking point. More titles than ever launched with major bugs, broken servers, and incomplete feature sets. We have grown (perhaps too) accustomed to overlooking these problems because they eventually get fixed, but there's a lot to be said about a game getting it right the first time. A game-breaking bug can completely ruin your opinion of a game, but smaller issues like glitchy NPCs and unreliable servers also have a negative – and oftentimes cumulative – effect on the experience. Next year, I hope developers stop treating release day like a soft launch, and stop treating their customers like QA testers. Go back to the basics: Hone and balance the gameplay, fix the bugs, and get a solid infrastructure in place before launch so I that spend less time downloading patches and getting frustrated and more time enjoying your game. Which brings us to my next wish...

Opinion: My Paradoxical Love Of Destiny’s Grind

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For many players, the idea that anyone would still be playing Destiny three to four months into the game’s life cycle seems insane. Peruse any comment thread in a story about Bungie’s open world shooter, and you find your fair share of incredulous gamers, aghast that anyone would still be spending time in a game they’ve labeled as shallow and lacking in content. Other players continue to feverishly play Destiny, but regularly cry foul as they’re forced to grind for XP and reputation in order to advance. I’m not here to tell anyone they’re wrong. Destiny is undoubtedly an imperfect game that needs to evolve in many key ways before it’s the ideal adventure we all hope it could be. But that doesn’t change my experience; I unabashedly enjoy my time with Destiny, grind and all.

Let’s get this out of the way – I don’t think Destiny is a game for everyone. Its lackluster story is an easy turn off, and players who hate engaging with the same missions multiple times are likely to balk at the expectation of repeated playthroughs in the same areas. So what is it that keeps me and others coming back for more? 

Things I’d Like To See From Nintendo In 2015

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Things I’d Like To See From Nintendo In 2015

Before we even get started, I want to preface things with the fact this isn’t a “doomsayer” Nintendo piece or anything like that – Nintendo continually puts out some of the best games, draws from its stable of incredible IPs, and had an amazing 2014 with titles like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros., Bayonetta 2, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, and more. So while I’m appreciative of all of the great things Nintendo does and continues to do, there are a few things I’d love to see on the horizon.

Powerful Hardware Without The GimmicksLet’s get the Nintendo console up to speed in terms of power. While it doesn’t need 1:1 parity with the other consoles of the day, being able to compete in terms of power would be a big thing and allow Nintendo to really go the extra mile with its well-known IPs. Things like the Wii U gamepad might be cool to give some games additional options, but it has always felt like a forced feature to me that the system would probably be better off without.

Ten Other Uses For Nintendo’s Amiibo Figures

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Ten Other Uses For Nintendo’s Amiibo Figures

Like many of you, I got some Nintendo Amiibos for Christmas this year. Unfortunately, I’m visiting my sister on the east coast and I forgot to bring my Wii U, so I decided to experiment with several other uses for Nintendo’s adorable new figures.

1. Pepperoni PlaceholderWhat’s for dinner? Pizza! Create the perfect pie, and instill a love of cooking in your kids at the same time. Amiibos can be used to create indents in a cheesy pizza foundation that are just the right size for delicious slices of pepperoni. Now your kids will know exactly where to put the pepperoni. Don’t have a kid? Try cooking with a dog or old people.

2. Ostrich CharmOstriches love shiny little objects. Use one of Nintendo’s Amiibos to charm any ostrich into a hypnotic sleep and then implant false memories into it subconsciously. Who needs a modern video game when you can watch an ostrich strut around, acting like a giant chicken.

10 Tweaks That Would Make 10 Great Games Greater

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10 Tweaks That Would Make 10 Great Games Greater

It's easy to play armchair quarterback, which is why we all do it. Few things approach perfection (except possibly the concept of cheeseburgers) and gaming is no different. There were plenty of great titles released in 2014, but even the best had a few weird issues or things that we believe would have made them better. With that in mind, here are 10 tweaks that we think would have improved on what was already pretty darned good.

Bayonetta 2Platinum Games' Wii U exclusive is fantastic, except for one minor detail. Actually, make that one minor character: Loki. He is an annoying presence who pops up with a disappointing frequency. He makes the game's not-Joe Pesci bearable in comparison, which is saying something. Replace him with nearly anyone (or anything else), and you would have a better game. A grumpy assassin? The ghost of Dom's wife Maria from Gears of War? A rapping sandwich? Yes, yes, and yes.

GI Commentary Track – Sonic Christmas Blast

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I don't about you, but when I think of Christmas I think of Sonic the Hedgehog. Thankfully Reiner showed up to the office before the GI office let out for holiday break with a DVD titled Sonic Christmas Blast in his hand. Naturally, we knew we had to watch it and records a commentary track to share with you so you could watch along.

Viewers beware: This cartoon is based on the crappiest Sonic cartoon of them all – the one that played on weekday mornings and kicked off with a weak version of "In the Hall of the Mountain King." We've included our commentary track in this post, and within it are instructions for how to best sync up with us. As for getting your hands on the cartoon. You're one quick Google search for "Sonic Christmas Blast" away from beholding this marvel of animation and storytelling prowess.

Click on embedded audio track below or download the .mp3 at the bottom of the story to listen along.

Replay Holiday Special 2014

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Grab a glass of eggnog and a handful of sugar cookies, everyone! The Replay crew is here to celebrate the holidays with you in the best way possible: with Batman. Yes, we decided to give Santa Claus a break this year, and play the Christmas-themed Batman Returns instead. We battle our way through waves of clowns (why are they clowns?) and square off against Catwoman, all to deliver holiday cheer!

We hope that you and all of your loved ones have a great holiday season. We'll see you in the New Year (and in new Super Replay)!

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