A new foe vows to take down loot crate greed

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A new foe vows to take down loot crate greed

Last year, video game makers inserted exploitative loot crate mechanisms into several high-profile products, a practice that has been compared to gambling and has outraged many. A new non-profit organization says it wants to take these publishers to task.

Consumers for Digital Fairness is a new DC-based advocacy group that’s been set up by a group of friends who want to highlight game companies’ exploitative tactics. None of the group’s members work in the game industry, although they say they have experience in public policy, political research and advocacy.

Speedrunner takes down Battletoads’ infamous Turbo Tunnel, blindfolded

about X hours ago from
Speedrunner takes down Battletoads’ infamous Turbo Tunnel, blindfolded

Alright, team, this is a great knife trick of eight-bit video gaming: The hardest stage in Battletoads, blindfolded.

Battletoads has an outsize reputation for old-school bad-assery, not only for regular shlubs like you and me, but also for speedrunnersl. At Awesome Games Done Quick this afternoon, showcase performer Piotr Delgado Kuseilczuk, aka “The Mexican Runner,” whipped Battletoads in a warpless, any-percent run in 29:04. That’s not a world record, but Kuseilczuk does own the title (23:42, set six months ago).

Watch these 1972 game show panelists baffled by an ‘electronic game simulator’

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Watch these 1972 game show panelists baffled by an ‘electronic game simulator’

She offers tons of interesting tidbits in her article, but I found one artifact especially curious. It’s a clip from 1972 TV gameshow What’s My Line?, in which the Magnavox Odyssey makes an appearance. This episode of the long-running show ran on Oct. 16, 1972. We don’t know exactly when Odyssey launched, except that it was in the second half of 1972.

Given that Odyssey was the first commercial games console, this must be one of the first video game appearances on TV. We know that actual Odyssey commercials ran in early 1973, but they may have run earlier.

Pokémon Go to drop older iPhone support, despite widespread Go Plus problems

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Pokémon Go to drop older iPhone support, despite widespread Go Plus problems

Niantic will soon discontinue Pokémon Go support for iPhones that aren’t compatible with iOS 11, the latest version of the smartphone’s operating system. When that update launches in late February, players with older phones will either have to upgrade or give up on the game — even as current iOS 11-users continue to complain about Pokémon Go’s issues with the firmware.

The developer published a note to its Pokémon Go blog on Jan. 9 to give iPhone users a heads up. The text follows below.

Total War: Three Kingdoms takes the strategy series to China

about X hours ago from
Total War: Three Kingdoms takes the strategy series to China

The team at Creative Assembly has lifted the veil on its next project. Called Total War: Three Kingdoms, the epic strategy series will simulate the battlefields of ancient China for the first time. More surprising still, the PC title is scheduled to release this September.

The Total War series blends pausable real-time combat with grand strategy. Over the years, Creative Assembly has set the series in ancient Rome, Europe in the Middle Ages, feudal Japan and even Games Workshop’s Warhammer fantasy universe. With the rise of Steam in China, the time seems right for the series to cater to that demographic.

CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 shows proof of life

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CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 shows proof of life

It’s been nearly six years since CD Projekt Red announced it was working on a Cyberpunk 2077 video game, and exactly five years since the Witcher series developer revealed the game’s first trailer. Understandably, fans of the studio’s games and the promise of a massive, open-world Cyberpunk RPG are hungry for new information.

So it’s no surprise that people are freaking out over a single, innocuous tweet from the official Cyberpunk video game Twitter account — the first tweet from that account in more than four years. Here it is:

A disturbing cult classic finally hits Steam, with a follow-up on the way

about X hours ago from
A disturbing cult classic finally hits Steam, with a follow-up on the way

A beloved underground Japanese hit is heading to Steam, more than a decade after it first launched. Free-to-play horror classic Yume Nikki is now widely available after circulating online for years — and its Steam release appears to be in anticipation of a new project based on the original game.

Yume Nikki, as its Steam store page notes, is a “divisively controversial work.” Despite its cult fanbase, the Windows PC adventure game is a surrealistic journey through a dozen dream worlds, each filled with unexpected terrors and unpredictable pathways. The game has no dialogue, minimal action and not much to do beyond walking around, running into and collecting items; the plot remains up to interpretation, leaving fans to theorize about its meaning over the years.

Report: 7,672 were released on Steam in 2017

about X hours ago from
Report: 7,672 were released on Steam in 2017

Steam Spy is a third-party site that scrapes information from Steam to estimate sales information and publishes the data on its web page. The accuracy isn’t perfect, but it’s one of the few windows players and the press are given to look into how games are performing if the developer or publisher aren’t willing to share sales information.

And Steam Spy has some impressive news to share: 7,672 games were released on Steam in 2017.

Breath of the Wild’s fantastic life lessons for kids

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Breath of the Wild’s fantastic life lessons for kids

One of the joys of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is how it’s created a new connection between me and my seven-year-old son. He’s sunk himself into this game, and shares with me all his achievements and discoveries. When I finally pry the controller from his hands so that I can play, he cuddles up close and offers advice.

Zelda is a new playground in which he and I can enjoy one another’s company. But it’s also a place he visits alone, in which he discovers lessons that are relevant and useful outside the confines of the game’s world.