‘Game Freak Lied’ isn’t entirely about Pokémon Sword and Shield

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‘Game Freak Lied’ isn’t entirely about Pokémon Sword and Shield

Early Wednesday morning, a video game hashtag climbed to the top spot across America: #GameFreakLied, a caustic repository for all the anxiety, angst, and anger that has defined the pre-release narrative of Pokémon Sword and Shield.

At first glance, the furor is a refute against Game Freak’s development decisions for Pokémon Sword and Shield. But if we take a step back, the issue is much bigger than pocket monsters.

Stardew Valley gets a big endgame patch at the end of November

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Stardew Valley gets a big endgame patch at the end of November

Stardew Valley is getting a large (and free) endgame patch that, creator Eric Barone says, will “finally ‘polish’ the game to the degree that I’ve always wanted.’” The patch, coming Nov. 26 to PC, will clean up several lingering bugs and add a bunch of quality-of-life features, two of which sound like pure fan service.

The first is the ability to take a screenshot (in PC versions) of the player’s entire farm. Posterity is very important in a game like Stardew Valley, and for longtime players it’ll be nice to have a sampler-size accounting of all their work.

Legends of Runeterra’s Expedition mode lets you build a random and ever-changing deck

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Legends of Runeterra’s Expedition mode lets you build a random and ever-changing deck

Legends of Runeterra, Riot Games’ new card game, is in its second test weekend and this time around it has a draft mode. The mode is called Expedition and it brings a few new ideas to the draft formula from other collectible card games.

As with most draft modes, this mode will start with players building a new deck from random cards. Players choose cards by selecting one of a few different “picks.” Each pick has a random combination of cards selected based on deck archetypes. They may feature cards from different regions, or focus on cards that emphasize things like stunning your enemy’s units or drawing cards from your deck.

Here’s your first look at Sindel in Mortal Kombat 11

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Here’s your first look at Sindel in Mortal Kombat 11

Sindel is the next playable fighter in Mortal Kombat 11’s schedule of premium DLC, and this trailer reacquaints you with her makeover. She starts with a prehensile hairstyle, and finishes with a sonic-powered deep-pore cleanse that’ll take your face right off.

Ask poor Nightwolf, who is the punching bag through most of this test of Sindel’s abilities. She was last a playable character in 2011’s Mortal Kombat, appearing as an NPC in Mortal Kombat X four years ago. But Sindel’s history goes back almost 25 years to 1995, even making an evil-to-good face turn within MK’s canon over that span.

Epic Games surprise launches new ‘hero collector’ RPG Battle Breakers

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Epic Games surprise launches new ‘hero collector’ RPG Battle Breakers

Fortnite and Unreal Engine developer Epic Games released something new on Wednesday: Battle Breakers, a cartoon-inspired “hero collector” role-playing game for PC and mobile platforms.

Epic announced (and soft-launched) Battle Breakers more than two years ago, but hasn’t said much about the RPG, likely because it was really, really busy making Fortnite while also making money hand over fist. But a small team at Epic Games continued to work on Battle Breakers as a passion project, the studio said, and it’s available now from the Epic Games Store, Apple App Store, and Samsung Galaxy Store. Battle Breakers is free-to-play and supports cross-platform play across mobile and PC.

Death Stranding’s product placement is an act of vandalism

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Death Stranding’s product placement is an act of vandalism

Death Stranding is a stark, post-apocalypse of muted tones carefully arranged around a naturally understated palette. In the midst of all this mournful loveliness, there sits an anomaly: garishly designed cans of a 21st century drink called Monster Energy.

This is a caffeine-spiked energy drink manufactured since 2002 by Monster Beverage, a marketing-led company with a somewhat unsavory history of trademark bullying and employee sexual harassment. The company’s main target audience is young men.

Classic WWF arcade wrestling game is getting a surprising official sequel

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Classic WWF arcade wrestling game is getting a surprising official sequel

If you haven’t heard of RetroMania Wrestling yet, perhaps this will get your attention: It is now officially the sequel to the beloved 1991 arcade game WWF WrestleFest.

Let’s back up a bit, as licenses are involved — and RetroMania Wrestling is not affiliated with the WWE/WWF. Still, WrestleFest remains an intellectual property owned by the famed fighting game savants at Arc System Works (having acquired it from original publishers Technos of Japan). And now they’ve licensed it to Retrosoft Studios, which started development on RetroMania Wrestling last year, calling it a spiritual successor to the 1991 cabinet classic. Well, now it is canonically the sequel.

Undertale creator Toby Fox’s Pokémon Sword and Shield song is based off of a Homestuck fan tune

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Undertale creator Toby Fox’s Pokémon Sword and Shield song is based off of a Homestuck fan tune

Undertale creator and Homestuck composer Toby Fox did a track for Pokémon Sword and Shield and, upon listening to it, we’ve realized it’s definitely pulling a melody from a notorious Homestuck-related track: “The Baby is You.”

The original track was made before Fox did official work for Homestuck, in response to a rule on the MS Paint Adventures forums that banned users from posting art of the characters being pregnant. (MS Paint Adventures was the website that hosted Homestuck, along with creator Andrew Hussie’s other works.) As the characters were 13 in the webcomic at the time, the forum didn’t want any shenanigans.

Google Stadia will launch without a bunch of promised features

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Google Stadia will launch without a bunch of promised features

Ahead of Google Stadia’s launch on Nov. 19, Google is hosting an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. As that AMA reveals, Stadia will be missing some key features on launch day; those will start rolling out “as soon as one week after launch,” according to developers.

At launch, players will not have access to an achievements system — though achievements will be saved and recognized when the system launches “shortly” after Stadia’s release date — nor will Stadia support family sharing. Parents will be able to manage children’s “experience on Stadia” with parental controls through Family Link, but can’t share games. Developers said it’s a “high priority” feature that will launch in early 2020.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s stamina buff undermines the game’s survivalist promises

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Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s stamina buff undermines the game’s survivalist promises

Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s sizable title update arrived on Tuesday. It doesn’t fix everything, of course — another big patch is due later this month. But it’s noteworthy in how quickly and how far the changes walk back the survivalist promises made in the game’s original marketing.

One of the biggest changes, apparently to benefit the Ghost War PvP mode, is the across-the-board endurance buff. With it, a player’s base stamina increases 66 percent — and it also regenerates 75 percent faster. The stamina lost by slipping or sliding down Auroa’s many steep inclines is also cut in half.