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  1. Past hour
  2. The people behind a big Super Smash Bros. tournament have drafted in therapy dogs to help players deal with performance anxiety. The Big House, a long-running and major Super Smash Bros. event held in Detroit, will have five therapy dogs on-hand to help players before and after matches. Laura Rall, a student at the University of Michigan working on a masters in social work who also volunteers at The Big House, came up with the idea. She told Eurogamer she has personally experienced the benefits of therapy animals in the past. Read more View the full article
  3. Today
  4. I thought there'd be a nice little break between Prime Day and Black Friday, but it seems there's no rest from the deals. Seemingly out of the blue, Amazon has launched the End of Summer Sale. Not one to let the chance of a good bargain pass you by, I offer you this look at some of the best gaming deals in the Amazon End of Summer Sale. A quick heads-up before we get started: don't go in expecting some of the biggest offers of the year. A handful of games are listed at prices you've probably seen before, whereas others are basically a load of old unwanted stock they're probably trying to shift. That said, if you take your search a bit broader you can find a couple of better offers. Those are the ones I'm focusing on here. Starting with a game or two that may tempt you, there's Mortal Kombat 11 for £25 on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. A selection of upcoming DLC fighters for the brutal brawler were revealed just yesterday, so if the idea of getting into a bloody scuffle with Shang Tsung, the T-800 or The Joker sounds like a fight you want to see, here's your chance to get involved on the cheap. The Special Edition is reduced to £32 on PS4 and Xbox One too! Read more View the full article
  5. Microsoft contractors listened to audio recordings captured by Xbox One Kinect and Cortana in people's homes, a report by Motherboard has revealed. It's a practice that started at the beginning of the Xbox One's life cycle to improve the voice command system run through the Kinect, but several contractors said they listened to audio accidentally picked up and recorded by owners' consoles as well. "Most of the Xbox related stuff I can recall doing was obviously unintentional activations with people telling Cortana 'No' as they were obviously in the middle of a game and doing normal game chat," a current contractor said (as the contractors had signed NDAs, Motherboard kept them anonymous to protect their identities). Read more View the full article
  6. Perhaps the most famous Mortal Kombat Easter egg is "Toasty!". It first appeared in Mortal Kombat 2, and would see programmer Dan "Toasty!" Forden's head appear on the bottom-right corner of the screen accompanied by a falsetto voice bellowing "Toasty!" In Mortal Kombat 2, you'd get "Toasty!" sometimes after nailing an uppercut. But you'd also get it after performing Scorpion's fatality - the one where he rips off his mask to reveal his skull before breathing fire to burn his opponent to a crisp. Here's how it looked: "Toasty!" following an uppercut was found in Mortal Kombat 11 back in April, soon after the game came out. But only last week was the Scorpion "Toasty!" discovered. Read more View the full article
  7. We've been following the evolution of hardware-accelerated real-time ray tracing for some time now here at Digital Foundry - and one of the most spectacular demos we've seen actually took the form of Sonic Ether's RT shader mod for Minecraft, which brute-forced full path-tracing into the Java version of the classic Mojang title. It's brilliant stuff, and although slow, it will work on any modern GPU. But as good as it is, we had to wonder - what kind of improvement would we see with full hardware acceleration? What if Mojang itself incorporated full path tracing into the engine itself? The developer duly delivered at Gamescom 2019 and my colleagues John Linneman and Alex Battaglia played the early code, handing in the extensive deep dive into the demo found on this page. Similar to our own work with the mod, the developers put together their own custom maps to showcase the effects of full path tracing within the Minecraft engine. In our video, you'll get to see both of these creations. One of them showcases how the new technology interacts with the existing, older-style textures - which are typically based on 64x64 textures - but the video kicks off with a look at path tracing combined with higher resolution block art, reaching a maximum of 1024x1024. Read more View the full article
  8. During the latest Sea of Thieves weekly stream, a Rare developer accidentally mentioned fire will make its way to the game. This isn't the first time James Thomas, lead engineer at Rare, has inadvertently let some secret info slip. Back on a stream in January he revealed parrots were a pet coming to Sea of Thieves, leading to a six month ban from the weekly streams. "Somehow the parrots have learned to be aquatic," he said while discussing how the team had designed pets not to follow you into the water. This is quickly followed by a quiet "parrots confirmed" from Joe Neate, executive producer at Rare. Read more View the full article
  9. How many uses can one d6 die have? According to Dicey Dungeons, the new game by prolific designer Terry Cavanagh - famed for VVVVVV and Super Hexagon - the answer is quite a few. Dicey Dungeons riffs, tongue-in-cheek, on a gameshow. You're a contestant playing for a chance to spin the wheel and win your heart's desire, if you reach the end of the dungeon, that is. And you're a die, a d6 die (a wry observation on how characters in games boil down to the same thing, I think). There are a few contestant-characters to choose between oncfe you really get going, but to begin with, there's only one: the Warrior, the simplest, the one-star difficulty character. Combat works by rolling dice, surprise surprise, and dragging them onto equipment or abilities - represented by boxes on your screen - to use them. The game rolls dice for you but you decide what to do with them. If you're rolled a six, for instance, you could drag it onto - and therefore use - your sword and deal six points of damage. But it's not always so simple. Read more View the full article
  10. It's been a long time since we've been able to play a new Monkey Ball game on console, and dipping into Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD at Gamescom has reminded me why I fell in love with the series during its GameCube heyday, when those first couple of brilliant games founded a franchise which became renowned for its tight courses, increasing difficulty and smattering of stone cold classic mini-games (Monkey Target, you absolute beauty). But I also remember feeling this nostalgia when playing Banana Blitz the first time around, when it launched for Wii in 2006, and quickly coming to the conclusion then it simply was not as good. Banana Blitz added motion controls, which made a game series centred on pulling off precise monkey manoeuvres a bit of a mess, as well as a jump button and boss fights. And while the HD version lets you use a standard controller, those latter additions are still there. Banana Blitz HD is a pretty faithful remaster, with its opening two worlds playing out near identically to the original. It looks nicer, sure, running at a smooth 1080p 60fps. But the real revelation here is the ripping out of motion controls on all platforms. Without them, there are glimpses of what made those original games great (although the GameCube controller's notches around the outside of the analogue stick will continue to be missed). Read more View the full article
  11. If you're in the market for a new 4K TV, then you might want to point yourself over to Amazon where you can currently save up to 25 per cent off a handful of LG 2019 TVs. Of the lot, this LG 55-inch UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV for £499 is the most impressive deal. That's over £150 off the usual price. You can also find the 65 inch model on sale for £799. It's a new 2019 model, too, with all the streaming apps and voice control options that you'd expect to be built in to a TV in today's world. Read more View the full article
  12. When Tokyo RPG Factory released its first game, I am Setsuna, the mission statement was making games reminiscent of Square's golden age of RPGs. It was a lofty goal from the get-go, but the more of their titles I play, the clearer it becomes that you need more than Active Time Battles to inspire nostalgia - if anything I'm now more convinced than ever that they really don't make 'em like they used to. Tokyo RPG Factory's latest, Oninaki, takes place in a world ruled by the belief in death and reincarnation. I'm always interested in JRPGs that handle death, since some of them - chiefly Final Fantasy 10 and Tales of Berseria - offer interesting angles on the topic, studied through the lens of Buddhism and Shintoism. Oninaki, on the other hand, has nothing interesting to say. It does in fact have so little to say that after 30 hours with it I'm not sure what the plot was, or if there was one as opposed to a sequence of various tasks. You take control of Kagachi, a white-haired boy who after the death of his parents joins the Watchers, a group of people with the ability to walk between the world of the dead and the living. If someone dies with regrets, they stay behind as a ghost instead of being reincarnated, and so the Watchers take on any problem that may keep someone from peacefully passing on. This isn't quite at the level of "oh no, I've left the oven on", but too often, especially in case of ghosts you randomly come across, all you have to do is visit a specific place on the map again so that they can see it one last time. Read more View the full article
  13. Yesterday
  14. The Sims 4 is going a little bit Harry Potter in its latest, and distinctly wizardy, expansion Realm of Magic, which is coming to PC and Mac on 10th September, with a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release scheduled for 15th October. Realm of Magic introduces the sleepy town of Glimmerbrook as a new neighbourhood, largely unremarkable save for the fact that it hides a portal to another, rather less mundane world. Sims that step on in can earn their magical stripes through questing, magical study, and from fellow spellcasters. Spells, once learned, can affect the world in a variety ways, from conjuring food out of thin air to making Sims quarrel, and it's even possible to do a spot of transmogrification should anyone get on your wrong side. Read more View the full article
  15. Medical management sim Two Point Hospital is looking to the stars for its next DLC, with the newly announced alien-themed Close Encounters expansion coming to PC on 29th August. Close Encounters, if you haven't been keeping notes, is Two Point Hospital's third paid expansion, following on from the snowbound Bigfoot DLC and tropical Pebberley Island. It introduces three new hospitals to the sandy east of Two Point County - the town of Goldpan, the high-security Camoflage Falls, and a mysterious third, possibly robot-infested location known as Chasm 24 - plus a variety of new ailments and curatives for medical managers to content with. Close Encounters promises a total of 34 new illnesses, seemingly wrought upon the populace by a mysterious object falling from the sky - including Flat-Packed, Frogborne, Science Friction, Highly Ill-Suite, and Aller-Gs - with 11 of those being new visual illnesses. It also brings three fully animated new cure machines, new decorative items, plus new music, DJ, and tannoy lines. Read more View the full article
  16. Sega has unveiled the Yakuza Remastered Collection, bringing enhanced versions of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 to PlayStation 4 over the coming months, with part 3 available now. For reasons it doesn't appear to have elaborated upon, Sega has elected to stagger the release of the games within its Yakuza collection, despite the single up-front cost, with Yakuza 3 being followed by Yakuza 4 on 29th October, and Yakuza 5 early next year, on 11th February. Each of the newly remastered Yakuzas will bring visual enhancements, with the original games' 720p/30fps presentation boosted to 1080p at 60fps on PlayStation 4. Additionally, Sega says all three titles have gone through a "rigorous re-localisation process", with scripts being reviewed, revised, and rewritten to more accurately reflect their original Japanese counterparts. Read more View the full article
  17. Today's Deal: Save 50% on Gloria Victis!* Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are! *Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time View the full article
  18. Today's Deal: Save 30% on We. The Revolution!* Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are! *Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time View the full article
  19. Monster Hunter isn't a franchise shy of a good crossover, and that evidently won't be changing when Monster Hunter World's Iceborne expansion arrives this September; Capcom has revealed that Horizon Zero Dawn protagonist Aloy will, following her dalliances with the game last year, be making her return for Iceborne, exclusively on PS4. More specifically, Aloy's reappearance in Monster Hunter World will take the form of a crossover with Horizon Zero Dawn's own snowy expansion, The Frozen Wilds. That's all Capcom's sharing right now, though; the trailer, while atmospheric, is very light on detail. Aloy, of course, made her Monster Hunter World debut early last year, as part of a limited-time event enabling players to craft transformational armour, Aloy's Bow, and a Palico outfit resembling Horizon Zero Dawn's Watcher. Since then, we've seen numerous crossovers with other big-name franchises, including the likes of Assassin's Creed Origins, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy 14, and a particularly hefty The Witcher 3 offering. Read more View the full article
  20. DCS 2.5.5.34864 Open Beta update DCS World ME: column width in units list saved between sessions ME: read only mission doesn't corrupted now when user attempts to save them Tasks ‘Follow’ and ‘Escort’ can be performed now at the ‘Takeoff’ waypoint Fixed mass and type of the double rockets payloads (player’s A/C no more makes unexpected roll after rockets launch, rockets in twin payloads can be launched in salvo mode) F/A-18C FLIR polarity switch no more affects on Maverick picture AGM-84D Harpoon network trajectory fixed A-10C Crash when user changed TAD profile after cold start fixed DCS F-14B by Heatblur Simulations Fixed black wings/TCS pod due to texture corruption DCS AJS-37 Viggen by Heatblur Simulations Fixed ARAK rocket pods causing destructive aircraft roll DCS C-101 by AvioDev Completed multicrew canopies synchronization (fixed pending bugs). Fixed multicrew canopies initial synchronization at cold start, and when 2nd pilot enters the aircraft (any seat). Fixed canopies animation jitter when observed from another station in multicrew aircraft (external views only). Partially opened canopy (canopy closed with locking lever in forward position, which means canopy won't close completely) is visible now in other station (client or server). View the full article
  21. Hello, Johnny here. It's been two months to the day since I left Eurogamer to start work on a secret project at Gamer Network, but finally I am delighted to say that not only is the project now out in the open, but as of today, it has officially launched! It's called Dicebreaker, and it's a hub for all things tabletop - from board games and card games to miniatures, tabletop RPGs and even the odd bit of miniature painting. We're aiming to build a hub for tabletop gamers of all levels, from the curious newcomers to the dedicated hardcore. If you visit the YouTube channel right now you can watch our very first review, our first Let's Play and an informative (read: daft) Q+A with yours truly and fellow video producer Wheels on what games we like most and what you can expect from Dicebreaker (below). Read more View the full article
  22. There's a writing technique called cut-up, in which a text is broken down into small component parts and then rearranged, somewhat at random, into a new text. Cut-up has its roots in Dadaism and was used by boundary-pushing artists like William Burroughs and David Bowie. It's sometimes called aleatoric writing, which means there's an element of chance involved in the creative process; alea is Latin for dice game. There's a sense in which most video game writers are using cut-up technique by default - even when they're trying to construct a linear narrative. As well as scripts, they build worlds and storylines out of huge databases of NPC barks, flavour text, lore snippets and branching conversations. Depending on the game design, there might be no telling when and in what order players encounter these, or whether they encounter them at all. That's where the element of chance comes in. Sam Barlow, the writer-designer of Her Story and now Telling Lies, is doing something much more intentional, tackling this quirk of the medium head-on with his experiments in interactive fiction. In both games, a film made from Barlow's script is atomised into dozens, maybe hundreds of short video clips, which can then be searched like a database by the player using dialogue keywords. In theory, the clips can be viewed in any order; you could stumble into the denouement with your first search. Read more View the full article
  23. Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels has smashed its Kickstarter fundraising target, reaching its $70,000 (£59,000) goal in just over a week. Panda Cult games started the Kickstarter in July, but relaunched it this month to provide cheaper tiers for backers following feedback from fans. Now the board game is funded, the devs are switching their focus to the game's stretch goals. At $80k (£65k), the Order of No Quarter Knights will be unlocked as playable heroes, allowing players to fight beside Shovel Knight as King Knight, Plague Knight and Specter Knight. Read more View the full article
  24. So far this Gamescom we've seen urination mechanics, ghost babies and Geoff Keighley in Death Stranding: a truly bizarre mash-up that sounds like it's straight from a fever dream. Perhaps sensing everyone is still confused, earlier today Hideo Kojima tweeted the following: Naturally, I had to check this out - so I high-tailed it over to the PlayStation booth to see if this "BRIEFING" would finally clear a few things up. It did not. Read more View the full article
  25. First unearthed in Switch's firmware 5.0 way back in March 2018, Nintendo's console hybrid is evolving thanks to a new, smaller, cooler Tegra X1. Its efficiency advantages form the basis for the upcoming handheld Switch Lite, but the Nvidia SoC upgrade also takes centre stage in a revised version of the existing model, which recently arrived on shop shelves in Hong Kong. Eager to see how the new silicon performs, we imported a unit and got to work. On a superficial level at least, not a lot separates this Switch update from the original model. The exterior packaging is much the same, aside from a new Joy-Con led theme on one side of the box. Inside of the packaging, nothing has changed - Joy-Cons and tablet sit on a top layer, with peripherals (dock, HDMI cable, power supply etc) arranged in their respective compartments beneath, exactly as they always have done. A quick check confirms that the despite the new processor's reduced power requirements, the AC charger is the same as the old one and it goes without saying that all of the existing Switch peripherals we had to hand worked just fine on the new machine. This is indeed something of a 'silent update' for Switch then, a replacement model that arrives with little fanfare - to the point where Nintendo chief Doug Bowser doesn't seem to consider it as a new hardware launch at all. On the one hand, this ensures that all of Nintendo's marketing focus can rest on the Switch Lite, but what it does mean is that the opportunity to even mildly improve issues with the original release have not been taken. The wobbly kickstand still doesn't feel substantial enough to rely on, while the dock is unchanged too despite its rather 'agricultural' build quality, not to mention the many complaints about it over the years. Read more View the full article
  26. Valve, alongside its business partner in China, Perfect World, has given us an update on the progress of Steam China today, after both companies had been silent on the topic for over a year. Eurogamer attended the brief presentation, given by Perfect World CEO Dr. Robert H. Xiao in Shanghai, where a small number of local and international press were told the companies were "one more step closer" to launching Steam China, which will be separate from the international version of Steam. A handful of launch games were revealed, including Dota 2 and Dota Underlords. There were no actual launch dates or broader windows mentioned for Steam China itself, mind, nor a look at how that storefront may shape up or any details on its features, barring the fact it'll support VR, multiplayer games, interesting games with "innovative, creative ideas," and "single-player games with abundant storylines". As far as we could tell, none of the non-Chinese launch games had official approval just yet, either. In Xiao's words, "the Steam China project is undergoing solidly and smoothly" - but what is it, exactly? As it stands, Steam is actually widely available for Chinese players already. As of right now we've tested and confirmed it's possible to buy, download and play games through the Steam store in China as usual, with no issues - and no need for a VPN. Community features, such as discussion forums, are unavailable, but otherwise the platform as it stands still acts as a huge loophole in the Chinese government's strict regulation of games. Where it might take many months of admin and applications for a game to get through the approval process - if it gets through at all - or many revisions to a game's content to ensure it meets the various Chinese standards, that same game can already be bought and played in China, unfiltered, unregistered and unchanged, on regular old Steam. Read more View the full article
  27. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is still getting significant updates two years after its embattled launch - and it'll get another big one in December to tie in with movie The Rise of Skywalker. DICE outlined a new roadmap for the game, detailing new maps and modes. In September Battlefront 2 gets a new large-scape map called Felucia. Here's the official blurb: Read more View the full article
  28. Starting next month, Unova region Pokémon will finally start appearing in Pokémon Go as part of the Ultra Bonuses, rewarding players for completing all of the Global Challenges during the Pokémon Go Fest event. Only three gen five Pokémon are confirmed so far: Klink, Lillipup and Patrat. Klink can be found in raids as well as in the wild, and shiny versions of all three can be encountered. Mewtwo with the special move Psystrike will also appear in five-star raid battles, and players will have their first chance to catch a shiny Mewtwo. Read more View the full article
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