Fantasy Flight Bringing XCOM To The Tabletop This Year

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The melding of digital and tabletop isn’t a new phenomenon, as anyone who has played Scene-It or one of the many VHS-based “interactive board games” will recall. As tablets become more common though, the experiences have started to mature.

We’ve seen the blend of these two mediums in titles like Harebrained Schemes’ Kickstarted Golem Arcana. Now, 2K Games, Firaxis, and Fantasy Flight are taking advantage of the concept for XCOM: The Board Game.

In addition to the board, cards, and pieces representing UFOs, Interceptors, and XCOM troops, the game is managed in part on a tablet (or via an online tool). The free app is responsible for executing the alien invasion and responding to your actions. The idea is to create an feeling similar to the critically lauded XCOM: Enemy Unknown without exactly duplicating it.

Get Wing Commander III: Heart Of The Tiger Free From EA Origin

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Get Wing Commander III: Heart Of The Tiger Free From EA Origin

EA has swapped out its current free offering via the Origin “On the House” program. Gone is Peggle, and in its place is Chris Roberts’ (Star Citizen) beloved space-dogfighting game, Wing Commander III.

Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger was developed by Origin Systems (no direct connection to the Origin digital service, other than EA owning both). It stars Mark Hamill as Colonel Christopher Blair and features live-action cutscenes.

This was originally released in 1994 on PC and Mac, followed by a 3DO version in 1995, and a PlayStation 1 release in 1996. It's cheesy by today's standards, but for the time, it was a captivating story interwoven with exciting dogfighting. 

One Week After Its Remastered Release, There's Some New The Last Of Us DLC

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One Week After Its Remastered Release, There's Some New The Last Of Us DLC

As we were promised (or warned, depending on your perspective), there is some new multiplayer DLC for The Last of Us. Sony has announced two new headgear bundles and a new gestures pack rolling out this week and next.

The gestures are available individually or in a bundle for $2.49. The Grit and Gear headgear pack includes six items (including a bundle exclusive) and will be available after the PlayStation Store refreshes today for $6.99. 

The Professional Sports Bundle includes seven items (including a bundle-specific piece). It will be out next week for $7.99. All of the cosmetic DLC is available on PS3 and PS4 with cross-buy.

WWE 2K15 Gets Hulkamania Collector’s Edition, Brother

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WWE 2K15 Gets Hulkamania Collector’s Edition, Brother

The WWE titles have had some impressive collector’s editions recently. Last year’s Phenom edition highlighted The Undertaker’s impressive streak (which came to an end at Wrestlemania earlier this year). This year, the man with the 24-inch pythons is gonna run wild.

Hulk Hogan is the centerpiece of the WWE 2K15 collector’s edition. The package includes the game, a collectible card signed by Hogan, a Hulk Hogan Funko collectible figure, a piece of ring canvas from his March 10, 2014 WWE RAW appearance, two launch exclusive characters (Hulk Hogan and “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan), and the Sting characters pack that comes with all pre-orders.

The Hulkamania edition is priced at $99.99 and will be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on October 28. The standard edition is available on those two platforms, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. For more, check out our first coverage of the new-gen version from E3. 

September Cover Revealed – Assassin's Creed Rogue And Unity

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September Cover Revealed – Assassin's Creed Rogue And Unity

The Assassin's Creed series has transported us throughout history, taking us to the the Third Crusade, Renaissance Italy, the American Revolution, and the colonial Caribbean, among many other times and locales. The franchise has also grown into a juggernaut over the past seven years, with annual releases keeping the enthusiasm alive. Over the past four years, Ubisoft has been working on Assassin's Creed Unity, its vision for the franchise on new-gen consoles. The only other entry to have this long of a development cycle was the first game. While Ubisoft is looking forward, it hasn't forgotten the past. Not only has it gone back to the series' roots to reinvent it for the new generation, but it's also filling a hole in its history and storyline with one final last-gen surprise: Assassin's Creed Rogue. This month, we examine both games and the future of the franchise in an exciting double feature with two unique covers.

Click image above to see full spread.

Nintendo Divests Itself Of Inventory Management Subsidiary

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Nintendo has sold off a subsidiary unit responsible for inventory management solutions. SIRAS has been acquired by gift and prepared card company InComm.

According to its website, SIRAS provides solutions to both manufacturers and retailers beyond just Nintendo. In addition to basic inventory tracking, SIRAS has created solutions for handling returns and minimizing fraud. The company has also created mechanisms to assist in the recovery of stolen goods.

The financial terms of the sale have not been disclosed. We’ve reached out to Nintendo for a statement and will update should we receive one. 

Close Your Eyes And You’ll Think That Halo: The Master Chief Collection Is Already In Your Hands

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Close Your Eyes And You’ll Think That Halo: The Master Chief Collection Is Already In Your Hands

One of the most recognizable pieces of video game music from the 21st century belongs to Microsoft’s Halo series. The series’ theme, composed by Marty O’Donnell is haunting and mysterious. It also can be replicated with a single voice if you find the right venue.

YouTube user “rdub205” uploaded this clip of a lone singer in an empty Switzerland church. Close your eyes and listen. 

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New Releases This Week - August 3 Through 9

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New Releases This Week - August 3 Through 9

If you’re a PlayStation Plus and/or Xbox Live Gold member, this time of the month is a good one. Both systems are offering a new slate of free-with-membership titles, which might help ease the pain of a slow summer.

Thankfully, there are a few new titles this week as we continue our slow slog until the oasis of September. Here’s what you can look for on your platform of choice:

Metrico (Vita) - August 5Road Not Taken (PS4) - August 5Sacred 3 (PS3, 360, PC) - August 5
The Swapper (PS4, PS3, Vita) - August 5
Table Top Racing (Vita) - August 5
Ultra Street Fighter IV
 (PS3, 360, PC - Full Versions) - August 8

Artist Claims Pet Toy Company Robbed Her Of Angry Birds Profits

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Artist Claims Pet Toy Company Robbed Her Of Angry Birds Profits

A Seattle artist is suing the Hartz Mountain Company, through which she used to sell her Angry Birds cat toys. The line of products pre-dates Rovio’s hit mobile game series and Juli Adams claims that Hartz had no right to sell the trademark and, by extension, deprive her of revenues.

According to law firms Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, Adams’ Angry Birds line was sold under arrangement with Hartz in 2006 (three years prior to Rovio’s first Angry Birds game). Adams says that the agreement with Hertz allowed her to maintain complete ownership of the intellectual property.

Hartz, however, filed a trademark application for Angry Birds, covering toys and sporting goods. In 2009, Hartz sold the trademark to Rovio and, in the process earned a license to sell toys using the likeness of the birds and pigs from the game.

On The Cover Of This Saturday Evening Post: Jill Valentine, Captain America, And Optimus Prime

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On The Cover Of This Saturday Evening Post: Jill Valentine, Captain America, And Optimus Prime

Toronto-based freelance illustrator/ designer Marco D’Alfonso channels Norman Rockwell with these awesome depictions of Resident Evil’s Jill Valentine, Captain America, and Optimus Prime, done up in the style of three iconic Norman Rockwell illustrations.

The Jill Valentine illustration below is based on Rockwell’s “Liberty Girl,” which originally appeared on the September 4, 1943 edition of the Saturday Evening Post. Jill’s off to fight her own great war, only she’ll be fighting zombies and giant mutants that can only says “Stars…”

 D’Alfonso’s Resident Evil-inspired take on Rockwell’s illustration will be a part of the 8_bit & Beyond 2 Art Show starting on August 8th at Brooklyn’s Bottleneck Gallery.