Here are the games leaving Xbox Game Pass this month

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Here are the games leaving Xbox Game Pass this month

The Ides of March have come for Xbox Game Pass, and fortunately they spared large-scale AAA titles from being removed from the library.

Just four are leaving at the end of the March: Kingdom New Lands, Late Shift, Portal Knights and Sacred Citadel. All four of these had been in the library since April 2018.

Team Sonic Racing shows off customizations and panel says next game is underway

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Team Sonic Racing shows off customizations and panel says next game is underway

Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog panel from SXSW in Austin today showcased customization options for Team Sonic Racing and said, in very broad terms, that the Blue Blur’s next game is underway.

The 90-second trailer (above) highlights the performance modifications (and in so doing, gives another look at the characters and vehicle fleet, all of which appear to be staples for the Sonic Racing franchise). Horns are a different vanity option this go-around with a ton of options ranging from signature tones to wackier ditties. Paint jobs and vinyls add to the colorful cart racer.

Blood PC restoration delivers another batch of throwback screenshots

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Blood PC restoration delivers another batch of throwback screenshots

Blood, the 22-year-old FPS from that genre’s bloody mid-1990s heyday, gets another 16 screenshots today showing what Nightdive Studios has in mind for the game’s forthcoming remaster.

The batch of screens from Nightdive shows the latest build of the game (1.6.10, for what it’s worth) and the effect developers are going for. The nature of the HUD and visuals show this is a restoration with enhancements, rather than a remaster. But fans of grisly action and pumping lead into occult beasts — and on PC, who the hell wasn’t in 1997 — should feel right at home.

Sniper Elite brings two reheats this year, and a full sequel later

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Sniper Elite brings two reheats this year, and a full sequel later

Well, this is great news for Sniper Elite fans, and I speak as one: The cult-hit stealth/shooter/period piece is not only getting a Sniper Elite 5, to tide its many friends over until then there are three other projects in the works.

That would be a remaster of 2012’s Sniper Elite V2, the launch of 2014’s Sniper Elite 3 on Nintendo Switch (as Sniper Elite 3: Ultimate Edition), and a virtual reality project. Rebellion Developments Ltd. chief executive Jason Kingsley outlined the franchise’s plans in a 2019 development update on Thursday (above).

Valve targeting ‘off-topic review bombs’ in Steam user reviews

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Valve targeting ‘off-topic review bombs’ in Steam user reviews

Valve says it’s refining its approach to how customer reviews are handled on Steam, announcing today that it plans to identify and remove “off-topic review bombs” that might affect user review scores.

Review bombing has been a longstanding problem for digital storefronts with user reviews, and Valve has tried to combat their impact on Steam with other methods, including reviews of user reviews and graphs that display “temporary distortions” in user feedback. But to date, Valve has still factored those reviews into the game’s overall user score.

Report: Disney rehires James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy 3

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Report: Disney rehires James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Disney has reinstated James Gunn as the director of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, reversing a decision to drop the filmmaker, according to reports from Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter.

Gunn was fired by Disney in July 2018 after a series of offensive and controversial tweets were resurfaced and publicized by far-right internet trolls as part of a campaign to discredit the director. Gunn’s tweets, some of them a decade old, included jokes about rape and pedophilia.

Bart Simpson becomes an esports star in next episode of The Simpsons

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Bart Simpson becomes an esports star in next episode of The Simpsons

The next episode of The Simpsons will send Bart, Homer, and the rest of the Simpsons clan to Korea for an esports-focused episode. Bart will complete in a League of Legends-like game in the episode titled “E My Sports.”

“As Bart begins to excel in video game competitions, Homer discovers a passion for coaching him,” the episode’s official description reads. “Lisa attempts to bring Homer back to reality, but the plan causes chaos...”

Dead or Alive 6’s free-to-play version is already here

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Dead or Alive 6’s free-to-play version is already here

Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja released on Friday the free-to-play version of fighting game Dead or Alive 6 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Called Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters, the game includes four playable characters: Kasumi, Hitomi, Diego, and Bass.

Additional characters can be purchased for $3.99 each, and Koei Tecmo is already selling a handful of character bundles. Dead or Alive 6’s nine male fighters can be purchased for $33.99; the game’s 11 female fighters come in a separate bundle for $39.99; and all 20 characters can be purchased for $49.99.

Hearthstone’s new Rise of Shadows expansion lets the bad guys win

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Hearthstone’s new Rise of Shadows expansion lets the bad guys win

Hearthstone, Blizzard’s digital collectible card game, loves to explore alternate takes on the lore of World of Warcraft. Sometimes, this means all of our favorite heroes die and come back as Death Knights or we get to revisit an in-game zone with a new twist. This time, it means that we take the role of a bunch of Warcraft baddies and siege Dalaran, the magical floating city that serves as a base of operations for the world’s benevolent mages.

The League of EVIL brings back a cast of villains from Hearthstone’s past, including Dr. Boom and Hagatha the Witch. Rise of Shadows will also introduce a host of new cards (135 of them), including legendary takes on lore characters like Kalecgos and Chef Nomi.