Overwatch Archives event returns with new skins, new reward structure

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Overwatch Archives event returns with new skins, new reward structure

Overwatch’s annual Archives event is now live, giving players a chance to revisit the game’s co-op missions and earn brand-new skins. Archives also introduces a new reward structure for Overwatch that does away with the previous win-nine-games-to-get-new-skins rules, which is good news for players who want to tackle the game’s more challenging PvE missions.

First, let’s talk about the skins. There are five new legendary skins, one each for Genji, Soldier: 76, Tracer, Widowmaker, and Zarya. Those can only be earned from Archives loot boxes or by purchasing them with in-game credits.

Diablo 2: Resurrected first playable alpha test coming this weekend

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Diablo 2: Resurrected first playable alpha test coming this weekend

Starting April 9, some Diablo fans will be able to play the Diablo 2 remaster, Diablo 2: Resurrected, as part of a “technical alpha” test, Blizzard announced on Tuesday. A small group of players who opted into the alpha test via Blizzard’s website will get an invite sometime this week. The test period will run until Monday, April 12.

The Diablo 2: Resurrected technical alpha doesn’t allow for co-op play (it’s single-player only) and features three of the game’s seven classes: the Barbarian, Amazon, and Sorceress. Fans and some streamers will be able to play through the first two acts of Diablo 2: Resurrected, including the Duriel boss fight.

The American Tabletop Awards celebrate 2020’s best board games

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The American Tabletop Awards celebrate 2020’s best board games

Three years ago, a team of tabletop industry experts gathered to create the American alternative to the Spiel des Jahres, Germany’s prestigious board game awards. On Tuesday, that committee announced the winners of the third annual American Tabletop Awards. Divided into four categories — Early Gamers, Casual Games, Strategy Games, and Complex Games — they represent some of the best new releases of 2020.

This isn’t a collection of the most-hyped games to arrive on Kickstarter, nor is it a hyper-specific list of the most technically demanding Euro-style games available. The ATTAs celebrate the very best board games for fans of all skill levels. Its diverse committee is backed by a robust code of conduct, with transparency and clear provisions against conflicts of interest in the selection process.

League of Legends’ metal band, Pentakill, is back

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League of Legends’ metal band, Pentakill, is back

Pentakill, the League of Legends metal band, is making a return to the stage with new music. Much like K/DA, the K-Pop group starring a cast of alternate-universe champions, Pentakill is a fictional metal band created by Riot Games. Pentakill’s most recent work, a full album called II: Grasp of the Undying, released in in 2017. Players still can purchase Pentakill skins in-game for Sona, Olaf, Mordekaiser, Yorick, and Kayle.

Pentakill’s music is made by Riot Games’ in-house composers and designers, as well as collaborations with established musicians from the metal scene. Grasp of the Undying had cameos from Tommy Lee, Noora Louhimo, and Danny Lohner. Vocals are performed by Jørn Lande, in the role of Karthus the Deathsinger.

E3 2021 announced as ‘reimagined, all-virtual’ event coming in June

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E3 2021 announced as ‘reimagined, all-virtual’ event coming in June

E3 will return in 2021 as a “reimagined, all-virtual” event, organizers announced Tuesday. E3 2021 will take place June 12-15, and will feature content from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said in a news release.

Game developers and publishers will showcase their games at E3 2021 “directly to fans around the world,” the ESA said. E3 2021 content will be free to access, thanks to unannounced global media partners.

Animal Crossing’s Build-A-Bear collection goes on sale April 6 — here’s how to buy it

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Animal Crossing’s Build-A-Bear collection goes on sale April 6 — here’s how to buy it

Nintendo and toymaker Build-A-Bear will release a new collection of Animal Crossing: New Horizons-themed stuffed animals on Tuesday, April 6. Build-A-Bear announced the release date on Monday with little notice and did not share what the new Animal Crossing line will actually consist of when it goes on sale.

Animal Crossing fans will get a preview of the new Build-A-Bear collection on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. CDT (that’s 10:30 a.m. EDT/7:30 a.m. PDT), when the toymaker will announce the characters and release product images. Fans can then enter a “virtual waiting room” to purchase the collection from Build-A-Bear’s website — that is, if they’re selected. Build-A-Bear says that fans who get in line before 10 a.m. CDT (11 a.m. EDT/7 a.m. PDT) will get first dibs. If selected, customers will have limited time to buy the Animal Crossing collection.

Castlevania’s canceled Dreamcast game discovered in playable prototype

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Castlevania’s canceled Dreamcast game discovered in playable prototype

A playable version of the canceled Castlevania: Resurrection for the Dreamcast has surfaced. Preservationists have been shown a video of the prototype in action, and shared it via YouTube over the weekend.

The prototype is a build predating E3 1999, where Castlevania: Resurrection got a closed-doors demonstration. It’s a 3D platformer, with a very linear approach to its levels. The video shows the build’s unidentified finder steering Sonia Belmont through two of the five stages, which are started from a developer’s menu.

Metroid Prime’s 2D fan remake is now playable

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Metroid Prime’s 2D fan remake is now playable

Retro Studios’ GameCube classic, Metroid Prime, is getting a fan-made 2D remake called Prime 2D. The effort, which has been going since 2004 and called Prime 2D, is being led by a group called Team SCU. While screenshots of the game went up as part of an April Fools’ Day joke, the demo is in fact real, according a forum post by the creators.

The remake is the result of many years of love. In 2017, the team behind Metroid Prime 2D shared, “While public progress has appeared stagnant for the last 5 years, there has actually been a tremendous amount of foundational work being done in private.” Now, those following finally get to see just what the team has been up to.

The original Space Jam website lives on, even with a sequel

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The original Space Jam website lives on, even with a sequel

When the first Space Jam movie came out, Warner Bros. rolled out a promotional website with information and tons of spinning images. That site has persevered, remaining live online for a full 25 years. The Space Jam website could vote, smoke, drink, and take out a mortgage.

It looks like it’s from 1996, too. Basic font on a black-and-white background, spinning images, teeny tiny icons, and clicking on a new section can take you to a bright green page with text like “Kids! Much awaits you here in Looney Tune Land. Click on the different parts of the picture above for lots of fun and games!”