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2019-04-20
Week 8 of Fortnite Season 8 has arrived, which means there's a new set of challenges to complete in the hit battle royale game. Each task you clear will net you Battle Stars, which will help level your Battle Pass up and, in turn, unlock this season's Battle Pass rewards. However, there's an added bonus for completing all of the challenges from a given week: you'll also clear a Discovery challenge and earn a special loading screen.Not only do these loading screens feature cool artwork, each one also contains a subtle clue that points you in the direction of a free Battle Star or Banner--depending on how many Discovery challenges you've completed--hidden somewhere around the island. The Battle Star will level your Battle Pass up by one tier, while the Banner can be used as a profile icon.If you've completed eight full weeks' worth of challenges from Season 8, you'll receive the loading screen below. This week's screen depicts Ruin, the Legendary skin you'll unlock after clearing 55 weekly challenges from this season. Look closely at the background, however, and you'll be able to spot a set of coordinates hidden in the flames: B6, B7, C6, and C7. This is where you'll need to go to find a free Banner.The Banner is hidden right where the coordinates converge, on a snowy hill just northwest of Polar Peak. We've marked its location on the map below. Head to the area the next time you jump into a match and the Banner will appear when you approach. Collect it as you would any other pickup in the game, then finish the match and it'll be yours to use as a profile icon. If you need more help locating the Banner, we walk you through where to find it in the video at the top of this guide.Before heading off to find this Banner, keep in mind that it won't appear in the game unless you've completed eight weeks' worth of challenges and unlocked the above loading screen; you won't be able to simply go to the right area and collect it unless you've finished all of the necessary steps first. If you still have any outstanding challenges you need to finish, you can find tips for the trickier ones in our complete Fortnite Season 8 challenges guide.Prior to rolling out the Week 8 challenges, Epic released Fortnite's 8.40 update, which marked the started of a new limited-time mode called Air Royale. This LTM revolves around dogfighting and comes with its own set of challenges, which will unlock special Wraps when completed. Epic also brought back the Food Fight LTM. This time around, however, it's called Deep Fried, and it features elevated restaurant bases, forcing you and your teammates to build up to them in order to protect your mascot.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
Keanu Reeves already had a few classic action movies under his belt when he took on the role of reluctant hitman John Wick in 2014, and the success of that first movie has led to another hit franchise for the star. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is the latest movie, and it releases next month. The first clip has now been released.While the clip doesn't contain any of the insane action that the trailers have promised, it's tense and emotional. As fans know, the second movie ended with Wick expelled from the assassin underworld, and there are now dozens of killers on his trail. In the clip he gets into a taxi with his faithful canine pal, but it seems that going anywhere fast is going to be tricky, and a hard decision must be made. Check it out below.This clip follows this recent behind-the-scenes video, that showed Reeves undergoing firearms training for the role. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is directed by Chad Stahelski, who helmed John Wick: Chapter 2 and co-directed the first movie. It also stars Ian McShane, Lawrence Fishburne, Halle Berry, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Jason Mantzoukas, and Mark Dacascos. It releases on May 17.In a recent interview with Collider, Reeves spoke about what sets the John Wick series apart from other action movies. "I would say it's the blend of elements that it has," he said. "I think the way the action is and the world that's created. I think the cinema of the series is really strong--you know, the framing, the the camera movement. I think the set design is really great. So, I think the film is really easy to watch. It's beautiful."There's a character that we root for, hopefully. He's fighting for his life. They're not insulting. The films are fun, but they're smart. There's humor, and action. Comedy. It has a unique tone, I think. So, you can tell I'm a fan."Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
Final Fantasy XIV has begun its crossover event with the latest numbered entry in the franchise, Final Fantasy XV. The event will last through May 27, and brings a few familiar characters and equipment from the game into the MMO.The event is called "A Nocturne for Heroes" and introduces Noctis and his iconic car, the Regalia. The Warriors of Light will be facing off against threats that have come from Noctis' world of Eos, like magitek infantry and armor, and the Messenger, Garuda. The trailer shows how it all comes together.You can cut your hair like Noctis, use a new Triple Triad card, ride in the Regalia mount, and listen to music from FFXV. To participate you'll need to have reached level 50 and complete "The Ultimate Weapon" scenario. Begin the quest chain by finding Kipih Jakkya in Ul'dah on the Steps of Nald.Final Fantasy XIV has been regularly updating with new events, including crossovers like one with Monster Hunter. The game is also currently hosting an Easter-themed event called Hatching-tide.Final Fantasy XV has had a long slate of post-launch content as well. It launched its final episode, Ardyn, on March 26. That episode puts you in the buckled boots of the game's villain, set 35 years before FFXV. This also gives you access to some new moves, like the speedy Shadow Move or the ability to Daemonify enemies.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
Niantic is hosting Pokemon Go's first Safari Zone event in Singapore this week, giving players in the region a chance to catch some rare and exotic Pokemon like Lapras, Dratini, and Alolan Exeggutor. But even if you don't live in the area, you'll be able to join in on the festivities, as a new Shiny Pokemon is debuting around the world this weekend.Beginning 6 AM local time tomorrow, April 20, the Mold Pokemon Shuckle will appear in the wild across the globe. On top of that, you'll have your first chance to encounter a Shiny Shuckle, which has a blue shell rather than a red one. However, you'll need to act quickly if you're hoping to add one to your collection, as the Pokemon will only spawn until 10 PM local time on April 21.The Safari Zone event isn't the only one happening in Pokemon Go right now; we're also in the midst of the annual Eggstravaganza. Until April 23, you'll be able to hatch baby Pokemon like Pichu, Smoochum, and Magby from 2 km Eggs, and you'll earn twice the normal amount of Candy for each Egg you hatch. On top of that, Buneary will appear in the wild more frequently, and you'll even have a chance to find its Shiny form.In addition to the Eggstravaganza, Latios has returned to Pokemon Go as part of a special Raid event. The Legendary Eon Pokemon will appear in Raid Battles until April 22, and its Shiny form will likewise be available. Meanwhile, game's current Legendary, Origin Forme Giratina, is scheduled to leave Raids on April 29.Niantic has also announced the first details for May's Community Day. That event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 19, and it'll feature the Gen 3 starter Pokemon Torchic.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
Sony has kicked off a PlayStation Network flash sale, offering great prices on a large collection of games for a limited time. While Ubisoft games take center stage, lots of others are on sale as well. The prices will last through April 22. If you've had an eye on games like The Division 2 or Assassin's Creed Odyssey, you can pick up the games themselves, deluxe editions, or pieces of downloadable content for cheap. The Division 2 is going for $50, while the Gold Edition is down to $80 and the Ultimate is $96. Similarly, Odyssey is $20, and the season pass (which includes Assassin's Creed 3 Remastered) is $24. South Park: The Fractured But Whole is down to $15.Meanwhile, The Elder Scrolls Online Collection is $25, and various currency bundles have been discounted. Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Spyro Reignited Trilogy are both down to $30, and Metro Exodus is $45. Yakuza Kiwami 2 is just $25, and The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is $24. Plenty of other games are on sale too, so check out the full listing.Another Assassin's Creed game can be had for cheap for a little longer too. Ubisoft is offering Assassin's Creed Unity, the game set in 1700s Paris, for free for a limited time on its Ubisoft Store. The gesture is to pay homage to the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was recently damaged by a fire.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
Fortnite appears to be beginning to tease its upcoming season, with strange happenings in the world. This time it's a series of runes near Loot Lake, and the community is already scrambling to unlock their mysteries.Fans on the Fortnite subreddit have been swapping information about the "Loot Lake Rune Event" in a dedicated thread. There appear to be two runes spotted so far--one in Fatal Fields and one in Paradise Palms. The runes are moving, however, and seem to be changing directions. That could signify that they're drawing a pattern, similar to past events with moving objects. Meanwhile, a strange vault has appeared at the bottom of Loot Lake, reports PC Gamer. That appears to correspond with the rune movements.Fortnite Season 8 began on February 28, and seasons usually last 10 weeks. That means we have about two more weeks until the start of the next season, so now is the right time for Epic to begin laying the groundwork for it. Fortnite has been known to launch massive in-world events, usually with puzzles or big events for players to participate in, to both generate excitement and hint at the direction for the upcoming season.That also means you only have a few weeks left to finish your challenges. If you need a hand with those, make sure to check out our challenge guide and Jigsaw pieces guide. The latest jigsaw puzzle formed a strange alien image, which could also be a clue of things to come.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
Destiny 2's spring celebration, the Revelry, is in full swing, and with the weekend comes an addition to the party: Xur, the Agent of the Nine. As usual, Xur's got a new crop of Exotics for sale, plus his newly amped-up Fated Engrams. Add that to the new Arbalest Exotic linear fusion rifle you can earn in the Revelry, and there are a whole lot of Exotics to snag this weekend.Head to the EDZ on Earth to find Xur--he's in the Winding Cove area. When you land, head north toward the wall of the area, and climb up to the crashed Fallen dropship to find Xur hanging out on the cliffside. Xur is selling the Wardcliff Coil Exotic rocket launcher this week, which fires a mess of arc rockets with every pull of the trigger. It recently got nerfed by Update 2.2.1, so Wardcliff Coil won't melt bosses quite as effectively as it did for a while there, but it's still a super strong Power weapon, especially in the Crucible.Xur's armor haul this week starts with Raiden Flux for Hunters, a chest armor that powers up your Arc Staff Super attack. When you can rapidly make attacks with the staff, Raiden Flux increases the Super's duration and increases the damage it does, making it great for crowd control in places like the Verdant Forest. For Titans, there's Hallowfire Heart, which speeds up the recharge of your Solar abilities, especially when your Super is fully charged up. Warlocks are the lucky ones this week: they get Lunafaction Boots, the only Forsaken Exotic in Xur's bag. The boots cause your rifts to automatically reload allies' weapons, and Empowering Rifts make weapons more effective over longer ranges. Just don't equip them when you're using Whisper of the Worm, since Lunafaction's reload perk negates Whisper's ammo-generating perk.Here are all the Exotics Xur offers this week and what they'll cost you:Wardcliff Coil (Exotic rocket launcher) -- 29 Legendary ShardsHallowfire Heart (Exotic Titan chest armor) -- 23 Legendary ShardsRaiden Flux (Exotic Hunter chest armor) -- 23 Legendary ShardsLunafaction Boots (Exotic Warlock leg armor) -- 23 Legendary ShardsYou can also purchase a Fated Engram from Xur, if his inventory doesn't interest you. Fated Engrams can now dish out Exotics from the Forsaken expansion, as well as the Year One group. Grabbing one of the engrams gives you a random Exotic that you don't already have, provided you can afford it. Fated Engrams will run you 97 Legendary Shards, and you can only get one per account each week. Xur also offers the Five of Swords challenge card for free, which allows you to add difficulty modifiers that increase your score in Nightfall runs.Finally, Xur brings another Invitation of the Nine weekly bounty. It gives you a Powerful gear drop when you complete it, as well as a bit of story about the Nine and the Drifter, and a new Lore entry. As usual, you'll have to clear out a mess of enemies of various types, and complete a Strike. You can kill the enemies anywhere in the solar system, though. Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
After The Curse of La Llorona had its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year, audiences discovered that the James Wan-produced film is part of the connected horror universe of the Conjuring franchise. Get ready, Warren family: As if an evil doll, a demon nun and a crooked man (remember him?) weren’t enough, there is another ghost coming your way.The film centers on a social worker named Anna (Linda Cardellini) in 1970s Los Angeles who accidentally sets loose an evil entity known as La Llorona, the ghost of a woman who drowned her own kids before taking her own life, now doomed to roam the Earth looking for children to take with her to the afterlife. Anna battles the Latin American folktale villain, who is after her own children.In a previous article, we teased what the connection between this film and the larger Conjuring universe was, and how it all involved the character of Father Perez, who was first introduced in the film Annabelle. When GameSpot met with the cast and filmmakers behind The Curse of La Llorona following the film’s world premiere at SXSW, we got the chance to speak with director Michael Chaves about the early discussions of that Father Perez cameo, and most importantly, what other cameos were discussed.He revealed there is actually a deleted scene that would have taken place at the very end of the movie. Chaves told us it will most likely be on the Blu-ray home release. That's definitely good news, since it may impact the rest of the Conjuring universe.Major Spoilers for The Curse of La Llorona Below.When Father Perez shows up in The Curse of La Llorona, his main purpose is to give some exposition to Linda Cardellini’s character by explaining the folktale of The Weeping Woman. But when things get dangerous, he realizes the church would take too long to act appropriately, so he refers Anna to a curandero named Rafael (Raymond Cruz). But before he mentions Rafael, Perez reflects via flashback on the last time he tried to get the church to help on a supernatural case--a familiar setting in Pasadena in the ‘60s--and we get a brief shot of the evil Annabelle doll.This is the last we see of Perez, and from there on the film continues very seemingly self-contained. At the end, Anna keeps a memento: a necklace that belonged to the Weeping Woman before she turned into a ghost. But according to director Michael Chaves, this was not always the case. “There was a lot of discussion about it,” Chavez told GameSpot. “Father Perez does make a reference to other people who work for the church. There is actually a scene that was going to be at the end of the movie where at the very end of the film we shot Linda’s character [Anna], who hands over the necklace to Raymond [who plays Rafael the curandero], you know, for safekeeping. And Raymond says that he knows someone who can keep it safe and that they’re on the East Coast and they handle this sort of thing.”In case we need to spell it out: He would have been referring to the Warrens.Raymond Cruz reacted quickly to this line of thought, exclaiming, “I forgot about that--this sounds great!” And we have to agree--this sounds like a great end-credits scene to tease the future of the franchise. Why they didn’t place it after the credits, we don’t know. But Chaves gave us an explanation for why this scene isn’t in the movie.“The scene was really cool and I think everybody really liked it,” Chaves said. “But we felt like it was too heavy-handed, like just trying to lay in all these connections to [The Conjuring]. We definitely had a lot of fun with it, everyone involved, we are all fans of the Conjuring universe, and of course we had James Wan as a producer. We were just like kids in a candy store trying to make all these connections.”So, the scene didn’t make it to the theatrical cut of The Curse of La Llorona, but does this mean they’re fully scrapping the plotline? The next movie in the Conjuring franchise is the third Annabelle, officially titled Annabelle Comes Home (click here to find out what we learned visiting the movie's set). It's written and directed by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote the previous two Annabelle movies and The Nun, and produced The Curse of La Llorona. At an event during San Diego Comic-Con last year, James Wan and Gary Dauberman said that the film will see the evil doll Annabelle awakening every evil thing in the Warrens' artifact room before setting its eyes on their 10-year-old daughter Judy. It was described as “Night at the Museum with Annabelle,” in reference to the Ben Stiller family films where inanimate objects come alive every night after the museum closes its doors.What does this mean for La Llorona? Well, according to that deleted scene, the necklace belonging to The Weeping Woman was on its way to the Artifacts Room at some point in the ‘70s. It is unclear whether we'll ever see that deleted scene for certain, but if it's taken as a part of the overall story, then Annabelle Comes Home could see the evil doll activate the necklace in the Warrens' home, adding another evil to the havoc in Connecticut.The Curse of La Llorona is in theaters now, and Annabelle Comes Home hits theaters June 28. Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
"The real story's only just begun." Those were the chilling final words spoken during the Cobra Kai Season 1 finale, as the disgraced former sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo, John Kreese (Martin Kove), made his first appearance on the series. It had been nearly three decades since Kreese had appeared on-screen in The Karate Kid Part III, but it was instantly clear that the vicious former mentor of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is as devious as ever.The actor behind the character, though, is a completely different story. That's what I learned during a visit to the set of Cobra Kai's second season. When we sat down to talk just outside of the dojo set, Kove--who introduced himself as Marty--proved to have very little in common with Kreese. Even on this cold day in Atlanta in the final days of production on the season, he was happy and excited about the opportunity to revisit this character."Working here, and the things that [Cobra Kai explores] of why and what has happened to [Kreese] in the last 30 years, it's incredible," he said. "And it's so much fun to act."It's not just Kove having fun, though. Bringing Kreese back to life on the series--you may remember Johnny's Season 1 claim that his mentor was dead--allowed producers, who are longtime Karate Kid fans, the opportunity to explore the character in ways the movies never had the luxury."It's like you get the Emperor from Star Wars back. This guy embodies the dark side of karate," executive producer Josh Heald told GameSpot. "There's not a single moment in any of the first three movies where he's not this foreboding, scary bad guy. And so he brings all of that to the table as a character and here, in the series, we get to peel back the layers and understand in a real world, how could somebody be like this?"That question is one Kove has thought about quite a bit over the years. "He doesn't believe that karate is a defensive art. Karate is an offensive sport," the actor explained. "And he believes that your opponent, if he's not on the ground, pretty much unconscious, then you haven't won yet. That came out of Vietnam, that came out of where our soldiers and our boys weren't really allowed to win, because John Kreese, which I've talked about many times in panels and all, was always a champion, until he went to Vietnam, where our boys were not allowed to win. He vowed when he came back he'd never lose again and neither would his students."That, Kove believes, is where Cobra Kai's no mercy declaration was born. "Mercy is for the weak and here on the streets [when] someone confronts you, he is your enemy and enemy deserves no mercy," he said.Cobra Kai is a different place in 2019 than it was when we last saw Kreese in 1989, though. When Johnny relaunched the dojo in Season 1, it was easy to see his vision differed from his mentor's. "The only way that I could, as an actor, justify Johnny [relaunching the dojo is] that he's trying to approach it differently and [hoping] for a different result," William Zabka, the actor who plays Johnny, explained. "So he's definitely not Kreese. He's Johnny Lawrence with all of his history and all of his tics and challenges and dreams and all that, trying to help these kids genuinely, and he believes it."And with Johnny at the helm, Kreese is going to play nice--for now, at least. "He's willing to obey the rules, he's willing to try and gain the confidence of Johnny by being a human being," Kove said. "And he doesn't have a problem coming in, be an assistant sensei--even though he created Cobra Kai--as long as the values of Cobra Kai stay as he created them, which you would think, Johnny being his best student, would maintain."Of course, while Johnny may be trying to run a very different Cobra Kai, you can still expect to see Kreese up to some of his old tricks. "He brings a whole other flavor to the show which we really enjoy and you get to see him interacting with students of today, his former student in Johnny, and you get to [witness] Daniel LaRusso's seeing Sensei Kreese again for the first time in a long time," executive producer John Hurwitz teased.At least as far as Kreese is concerned, he wasn't kidding when he said, "The real story's only just begun." What that means for the future of Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kai dojo is something you'll find out when Cobra Kai premieres Wednesday, April 24, on YouTube Premium.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
If you missed your first chance to catch a Shiny Meltan in Pokemon Go this past February, you're in luck. Niantic is bringing the Meltan event back for a limited time beginning April 24, giving players around the world another opportunity to capture the Shiny form of the new Mythical Pokemon.Unlike other Pokemon, Meltan will only appear in Pokemon Go if you've opened the Mystery Box, an item you get in the mobile game after you've transferred a Gen 1 Pokemon to Let's Go Pikachu or Eevee on Nintendo Switch. Typically, the Mystery Box will close after 30 minutes, and you'll need to wait seven days before opening it again; during the Meltan event, however, you'll be able to re-open it after three days, allowing you to find Meltan much quicker than usual.You'll also have a chance of encountering a Shiny Meltan each time you open the Mystery Box. You can tell the Shiny variant apart by its darker head and blue tail. If you manage to catch a Shiny Meltan and evolve it into Melmetal, it'll retain its Shiny coloration. However, you'll only be able to find Shiny Meltan until May 5, so you'll want to act fast if you're hoping to get one. You can read more on how to catch the Mythical Pokemon in our Meltan and Melmetal guide.Meltan isn't the only Shiny Pokemon appearing in Pokemon Go soon. To celebrate the inaugural Safari Zone event in Singapore, the rare Gen 2 Pokemon Shuckle will be appearing around the world from April 20-21. During that time, players will also have their first chance to find Shiny Shuckle. Shiny Latios is also available as part of a special Raid event, which is set to end on April 22.Not long after the Meltan event ends, Niantic will be holding Pokemon Go's next Community Day. That event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 19, and this time around the featured Pokemon will be Torchic, one of the three starters from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. You'll also be able to earn triple the usual amount of Stardust for every Pokemon you catch during May's Community Day.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the fate of the Trine series after 2015's divisive Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power. That game marked a bold step for the burgeoning franchise, eschewing the 2.5D gameplay that defined its predecessors for full 3D environments. But developer Frozenbyte's ambitions came at a steep cost; the game's budget exceeded $5 million, nearly triple the amount it took to develop Trine 2, and the studio consequently had to pare the scope of the adventure back, leading to criticism that it felt unfinished.Since then the series has largely lain dormant, but it is set to reemerge later this fall with the release of Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, the first new installment in four years. Frozenbyte has evidently taken the criticisms leveled at Trine 3 to heart, as The Nightmare Prince brings the series back to its 2.5D roots. As the studio explained during a recent hands-off demo session, the impetus behind this decision was twofold: the developers found that the 2.5D gameplay was a better fit for the game's puzzles, and fans had wanted to see the series return to the style of earlier titles.Just as in the previous games, The Nightmare Prince follows the adventures of three heroes: Pontius the knight, Zoya the thief, and Amadeus the wizard. This time around, the trio have been dispatched by the Astral Academy to retrieve a missing prince who's suffering from a curious affliction: his dark dreams are able to manifest in the real world and terrorize the people of the kingdom. As before, each of the three protagonists has their own unique abilities, which you'll need to utilize fully on your quest to rescue the prince: Amadeus is able to conjure up large boxes that can be used to press down on switches or reach inaccessible areas; Zoya can fire arrows and tie objects together; and Pontius is capable of deflecting projectiles and rays of light with his shield.You're able to freely swap between all three characters on the fly as you play--and in fact you'll need to do just that in order to progress through the adventure, as you'll often come across bosses and environmental obstacles that can only be overcome by using the heroes' abilities in tandem; a chasm, for instance, can be crossed by first conjuring a block with Amadeus, then using Zoya's arrows to tie it to another object, creating a makeshift tightrope that you can walk across. Boss battles will likewise have puzzle elements to them; in the demo we witnessed, the rotund Pontius came face to face with a hulking undead knight. The creature was impervious to standard attacks, so Pontius had to first clear the vines choking the room's windows to allow light to filter in, then reflect the beams at the foe.While the entire adventure is playable solo, the series is best as a cooperative experience, and just as previous installments, Trine 4 allows other players to jump in and join the journey at any time locally or online. According to Frozenbyte, some of the game's puzzles will even differ depending on if you're playing alone or with friends, and you'll be prompted whether you'd like to encounter the solo or co-op versions of the puzzles when in a multiplayer session. The developer also confirmed that the robust skill trees from the first two installments are returning in Trine 4, adding another layer of depth to the adventure.After the ambitious missteps of Trine 3, Trine 4 is a clear reset for the beloved puzzle-platforming series. Frozenbyte is drawing heavily from the formula established by the first two Trine games for its latest installment. For fans of those titles, however, that is likely assurance enough that the series is returning to form. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam this fall.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-20
The neon-soaked hallways and dirty streets of Katana Zero do a great job of sucking you into its broken world. Gangsters operate unhindered as society is still reeling from a devastating war, one whose loss has littered the streets with homeless war veterans and bars with resentful and drunken citizens looking for a fight. You are that fight--a ruthless sword-wielding assassin with the ability to slow down time--and Katana Zero gives you delicately designed scenarios to slice and dice your way through. Its abrupt ending is an unwelcome surprise, but the riveting action is complemented by an intelligently presented narrative with a variety of captivating themes that is difficult to pull away from.Katana Zero puts you in the shoes of a nameless assassin haunted by the fractured misdeeds from the past war. This war forms the backbone of Katana Zero's central mystery, which does take time to unravel. What starts out as straightforward assassination missions ordered by a shadowy organization slowly unfurls to encapsulate themes of post-traumatic stress, war crimes, and government killings. This plays out across multiple acts, comprised of small side-scrolling stages containing violent and thoughtful combat throughout.Genetic experimentation and drug use are central to both Katana Zero's story and gameplay. Thanks to a steady supply of a blue serum, you're able to augment your simple sword slashes with the ability to slow down time. This lets you pull off some incredibly stylish maneuvers and experiment with a malleable dynamic to the otherwise straight-forward combat. Slow-motion rolls can be combined with precise movement to quickly close distances, and your sword is not just for close-quarter slashing--it can be used to perfectly time a bullet deflection back to its sender. When combined with stage-specific items that can be used as long-range projectiles and security systems that can be transformed from a deterrent into an environmental weapon, Katana Zero doesn't struggle to keep its combat exciting.It helps that each stage is thoughtfully compact given how dangerously fragile you are. A single hit will send you back to the beginning of a stage, with fast respawns making the transition almost instant. This not only avoids the sting of detrimental progress loss, but also gets you back into the engrossing action quickly. There are a few stages that feel excessively long and end up being frustrating, but they're thankfully few and far between.The variety of enemies keeps each encounter from feeling repetitive, gently introducing more dangerous foes that will force you to change up your comforting strategies. Enemies with shields will push you away before swiftly firing at you on the ground, while knife-wielding gangsters can stagger you and delay your attacks for a brief (but deadly) moment. The ways levels combine these different enemies turns each of them into clever combat puzzles, where your twitchy instincts need to be supplemented by thoughtful planning and careful consideration of who to target first.Katana Zero doesn't shy away from telling its story through scenes of unsettling torture and vivid violence, yet it successfully contrasts this with delicately quiet character moments and some heartfelt relationships that help ground a protagonist that would otherwise be impossible to empathize with. It works incredibly well thanks to a creative approach to character conversations, which are often just as important as your violent exploits outside of them. Instead of just being given choices for responses, conversations allow you to interrupt characters to alter both the tone and direction of the scene. Characters react intelligently to your manners during an exchange, expressing disgust at your audacity to cut them off or surprise at your unexpected courtesy.Depending on how you respond, certain small narrative changes can take place too. In one instance I found myself pretending to love anime to convince a hotel receptionist to let me pass, which later helped me avoid the police as she corroborated my alibi. The same conversation played out differently the second time, as my short temper with the same receptionist led her to turn on me when getting questioned about my blood-soaked clothing. Small diversions like this don't have an impact on the trajectory of the main story, and there are a handful of scenarios where you'll be forced into a specific response in order to progress. But Katana Zero mostly handles your branching conversational decisions with grace, eloquently incorporating them into small but inconsequential changes to its excellently written dialogue.Each character moment lands thanks to the sublime pixel artwork. There's an immense amount of detail packed into each sprite, bringing the colorful yet distressing world around you to life with its sheer variety. Character sprites are the most impressive, featuring delicate animation that lends a lot of emotion to each conversation and story beat. These extend to the thoughtful effects applied to simple dialogue bubbles, which use a combination of flashing colors, moving parts, and aggressive screen shake to allow important interactions to hit hard. Katana Zero doesn't just use its retro-inspired style to pull on nostalgic strings. It elevates the style entirely with a sense of depth and detail that is difficult not to appreciate.Katana Zero doesn't shy away from telling its story through scenes of unsettling torture and vivid violence, yet it successfully contrasts this with delicately quiet character moments and some heartfelt relationships.The real pity is that despite its slick presentation and enthralling dialogue, Katana Zero's story just doesn't wrap up in a satisfying way. It starts introducing its central themes about halfway through and only increases in momentum from there, seemingly building to an enticing climax. But it swerves unexpectedly at the end to reveal that this entry is only the first chapter in a larger tale. After four or so hours you're left with a number of unhandled narrative threads and an unsatisfying conclusion, which dampens the exciting momentum that was building up. It's a deflating and abrupt end to the proceedings, with no promise of more to come in the future.The uncertain future of the story that Katana Zero so brilliantly sets up is concerning, but that shouldn't deter you from diving into this compelling introductory chapter. Its combat provides an exciting challenge that tests both strategy and reflex, while also giving you clever abilities to make it as stylish as possible. The narrative contextualization of both your abilities and role within Katana Zero's world is expertly written, with a clever dialogue system letting you inject personality into character interactions. Katana Zero is bloody and brutal, but it's also a heartfelt tale that you shouldn't overlook lightly.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-19
Sony began to share details on its next-generation PlayStation console this week. Among other things, Mark Cerny explained that it will be backwards compatible and use a customized solid-state drive for quicker load times. One of the details we haven't heard about the presumptive PlayStation 5 is the price, but Sony has signaled not to worry about breaking the bank.While the subject of price didn't come up in the interview, Wired writer Peter Rubin did broach it during his discussion with Cerny, and he shared their exchange on Twitter. Naturally, Cerny was coy about saying too much about the topic, but he did tease the system will launch with an "appealing" price tag. "I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set," he said.Of course, Cerny's response leaves a lot of wiggle room, and his comment about the console's "advanced feature set" suggests it won't be cheap, although we likely won't know just how much it'll cost until closer to launch. As for when that will be, Sony hasn't yet announced a release window for its next console. Last May, however, head of PlayStation John Kodera said the new system was three years off, so it presumably won't arrive until 2020 at the earliest.In addition to confirming backwards compatibility, Cerny revealed that the PS5 will use an AMD chip with a CPU based on the third-generation Ryzen, as well as a custom version of Radeon's Navi graphics chips. The system is also said to support 8K. Beyond that, Sony didn't share many other details about its upcoming console, and it's unclear when the company will reveal more information. For the first time since entering the gaming market, Sony is skipping this year's E3, so any more news about the system will likely be reserved for its PlayStation Experience event or new State of Play streams, assuming the company plans on revealing it this year.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-19
Earth Day is quickly approaching--it's next Monday, April 22, in case you didn't know--and in the spirit of reuse and avoiding waste, Amazon is offering 20% off used PS4, Switch, and Xbox One games, consoles like the Nintendo Switch, wireless controllers, PC gaming accessories, and more this week. Because they're used, many of these products are already discounted, so there are some pretty decent deals with the additional markdown.The 20% off discount will be applied automatically during checkout--you'll be able to see the reduction when you get to the Shipping & Payment portion. And if you have Prime, you'll get free two-day shipping as usual. While used, the products are all in "good," "very good," or "like new" condition and are shipped and sold by Amazon, so you can rest assured the deals are legit.It's a good time to pick up a Nintendo Switch, as you can grab one here for around $210. There's an excellent price on the HTC VIVE VR system, which generally sells for $500 but is available here for $338. Used Xbox wireless controllers are available for well under $40 in multiple colors, with the white version selling for just $27. Meanwhile, you can pick up a black DualShock 4 wireless controller for only $34.There are quite a few used games to pick from in this sale, but the highlights include a Bayonetta 2 + Bayonetta bundle for Switch for about $33, Kingdom Hearts III for $26 on PS4 and $28 for Xbox One, Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee for $34 and Let's Go, Pikachu for $38, God of War for $21, and Fallout 76 for the record-low price of $15.37 on PS4.The Amazon Warehouse Earth Week sale is running now through April 22.Shop Amazon Warehouse Earth Week gaming deals »See some of our gaming-related picks from the sale below--we've already calculated the 20% off discount for you so you can see the price that will show up at checkout.Consoles / Systems:HTC VIVE Virtual Reality System -- $338.45NES Classic ("Like New" condition) -- $59.07New Nintendo 3DS XL (Black) -- $115.39Nintendo Switch (Red and Blue Joy-Con) -- $210.54Nintendo Switch (Gray Joy-Con) -- $209.41PlayStation Vita -- $112.15Games:Assassin's Creed Origins (PS4) -- $14.86Assassin's Creed Origins (Xbox One) -- $13.58Bayonetta 2 (physical) + Bayonetta (digital) (Switch) -- $33.13Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4) -- $21.94Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Xbox One) -- $21.94Call of Duty: WWII (PS4) -- $8.94Fallout 76 (PS4) -- $15.37Fallout 76 (Xbox One) -- $20.12Final Fantasy XV (PS4) -- $9.94God of War (PS4) -- $21.11Halo 5: Guardians - Limited Edition (Xbox One) -- $15.74Kingdom Hearts III (PS4) -- $26.29Kingdom Hearts III (Xbox One) -- $28.07Metro Exodus - Aurora Limited Edition (PS4) -- $42.49Metro Exodus - Aurora Limited Edition (Xbox One) -- $42.49Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor - Game of the Year Edition (PS4) -- $12.69Nier: Automata - Game of the Yorha Edition (PS4) -- $21.12Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee (Switch) -- $33.97Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu (Switch) -- $37.74Accessories:DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PS4 (Black) -- $34.18HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset -- $26.11Razer Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard -- $30.27Razer Kraken Pro V2 Gaming Headset -- $31.39Seagate 2TB Game Drive for Xbox One, Xbox 360 -- $59.51SteelSeries Rival 600 Gaming Mouse -- $37.30Turtle Beach Recon 50X Gaming Headset (Xbox One) -- $21.79Turtle Beach Recon 50X Gaming Headset (PS4) -- $21.09Xbox Elite Wireless Controller ("Like New" condition) -- $85.85Xbox One Controller Charging Station -- $21.22Xbox Wireless Controller (Red) -- $34.77Xbox Wireless Controller (Phantom Black Special Edition) -- $39.87Xbox Wireless Controller (White) -- $27.48Info from Gamespot.com
2019-04-19
The new Kinetic linear fusion rifle Arbalest is the latest Exotic to pop up in Destiny 2. It's the last of the new Exotics that's part of the Season of the Drifter and comes as part of the new Revelry event. You can earn it by completing Triumphs tied to the Revelry and its new activity, the Verdant Forest. Like the other Exotics that come from lengthy quests, it requires a fair bit of grinding to get to the reward.While you'll need to spend some time blasting through the Verdant Forest and working on other activities to get your Arbalest, that doesn't mean it has to take you until the end of the Revelry on May 7 to get it. There are 10 Triumphs to earn in the Revelry, but you only need seven of them to unlock your Arbalest. With the right approach, you can knock out the Triumphs relatively quickly, provided you know what you're doing.Here's how you can knock out the Revelry Triumphs most quickly, and grab your Arbalest with the least pain and grinding.Visit Eva LevanteYour quest for Arbalest starts when you visit Eva Levante at the Tower. She'll give you the Reveler's Tonic, which gives you special perks when you spend a new item called Reveler's Essence that drops in various activities. She'll also send you to fight through the Verdant Forest, a new version of the Infinite Forest.Start by completing your first run in the Verdant Forest--it doesn't matter how well you do, but clearing all five bosses at the end can get you some of the Revelry armor set, which you want--then head back to Eva. Once you do, she'll offer you weekly and daily bounties. You'll need them to get your Arbalest as quickly as possible.Clear Some StrikesYou'll be doing a bunch of Verdant Forest runs, but first you might want to complete Eva's weekly bounties, because they drop Inaugural Revelry armor. Wearing pieces of that armor set (and the Vernal Growth set you can get from Eververse) increases the effectiveness of your Reveler's Tonic perks. Once you get four of them, bosses you kill in the Verdant Forest will start to count toward your Budding Fashion Triumph, so getting the armor earlier is better.While you're running Strikes, activate the grenade or melee perks with your Reveler's Tonic. That'll make your grenade or melee abilities recharge super quickly--like once every two or three seconds. As you're running Strikes, use your abilities constantly; kills with grenades will count toward your Fireworks Triumph, and melee kills count toward the Melee Mayhem Triumph. You'll need to finish five Strikes to complete the bounty, and that should be plenty to get you the kills you need for one or both of the Triumphs as well.When you're not getting grenade kills, focus on precision kills. They have a chance of generating extra Super orbs thanks to the Revelric Light perk from the Revelry, and count toward another weekly bounty. Use those orbs to rack up as many Super kills as you can in every activity you do, since they all count toward the Super Celebratory Triumph.Get CompetitiveThe same thinking about Strikes applies to Crucible or Gambit matches. You'll probably want to go with Gambit, as it'll give you more opportunities to generate Orbs of Light, snag grenade and melee kills, and get Super kills. You'll need to complete five matches to clear the weekly bounty and unlock another piece of Revelry gear. Snag enough precision kills between Strikes and Competitive matches and you'll finish another weekly bounty to gain a third piece of Inaugural Revelry armor.Wear Your Revelry Armor To The Verdant ForestNow you're ready for some Verdant Forest runs. Wear any Inaugural Revelry armor you've got, including the Vernal Growth armor from Eververse--both sets together seem to count toward the Budding Fashion Triumph. Your goal in the Verdant Forest is to clear as many branches as you can before the timer runs out, because more branches means more time for the boss fight at the end. You'll face five bosses in the final encounter, and if you can defeat all of them, you'll get a Powerful drop that often includes more Revelry armor.As you fight through the Verdant Forest, try to get as far as you can (use our guide to help), but focus on precision kills and Supers to generate as many Orbs of Light as possible. The goal is to clear out the Verdant Light Events Triumph, which requires you to earn 200 orbs in the Verdant Forest or in Black Armory forges. You'll also get through the Spring Cleaning Triumph, which needs 50 cleared branches to unlock, but that should be doable in two or three runs with a decent team.When you get to the boss fight section, killing three bosses in one go will get you the Spring Hunt Triumph; killing 20 bosses with four pieces of Revelry armor on unlocks the Budding Fashion Triumph.After that, it's just grinding: get Super kills to finish off the Super Celebratory Triumph; grenade kills and melee kills in Strikes and Competitive matches for the Fireworks Triumph and Melee Mayhem Triumph; and 50 branches for the Verdant Light Events Triumph. In total, with five Strikes, five Competitive matches, and anywhere between four and eight or so Verdant Forest runs, Arbalest should be yours.Arbalest is a pretty sick weapon if you use it right. It's a lot like the Queenbreaker linear fusion rifle, but it's a kinetic weapon, rather than a power weapon. It does a ton of damage when you hit enemies in the head, and it does bonus damage when you use it to break shields. The only drawback is that it doesn't carry much ammo, so make sure you use it wisely.Info from Gamespot.com
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