September 1st, 2012
(as of 2012-12-04 20:52:14 PST)
(as of 2012-12-04 20:52:14 PST)
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343 already promised that only cosmetic items would be allowed in the game's Arena multiplayer mode, but some fans questioned the inclusion of gear and vehicle REQ Packs in the Warzone mode. In a community question and answer on the Halo Waypoint website, the developer has clarified that there are systems in place to prevent Warzone from becoming pay-to-win.
When asked about the packs, designer Josh Holmes explained that these items will not be immediately deployable in a multiplayer match. Rather, players have to kill enemies and achieve objectives to gain enough "energy" to use them.
"Deployment of REQ items is limited by the REQ Level and Energy systems that govern the Warzone experience," Holmes wrote. "Each REQ item costs a certain amount of Energy to deploy. Everybody starts at REQ Level 1 at the beginning of each match and you gain levels based on your actions in the game."
He continued: "Capturing bases, killing AI, taking out AI Bosses and killing enemy players will help you level up within the match. The more powerful the REQ, the more energy you need to deploy it--so, for example, you can spend two energy points to deploy a Warthog or save up until you reach REQ Level 5 and spend all of your energy to deploy a more powerful Banshee. Energy replenishes at a set rate over time, and you gain a bonus energy point every time you level up."
He also clarified the different tiers of REQ Packs available to purchase. "Players will be able to redeem Requisition Points for three different tiers of REQ Packs in the game: Bronze, Silver and Gold. We also offer Premium tier packs as part of the [special editions] of the game. Each level of REQ Pack determines the quality of the REQs inside. For example, a Gold REQ Pack has a chance of including Legendary requisitions, while a Bronze REQ Pack does not."
Halo 5: Guardians launches on October 27 for the Xbox One. You can read our E3 impressions of Halo 5 here. You can also read about the Halo 5 special edition and the Halo HoloLens demo.
Despite the adjustments, the core design remains intact. You still move colored pills as they fall into the play area, flipping them around in an effort to line up four or more pill segments and viruses of the same color. Find success, and maladies and medicine disappear, leaving you with more room to maneuver. You win when all the nasty bugs are gone, or you lose if the rising wall reaches the top of the screen.
The "Miracle Cure" part of the game refers to special new power-ups that now appear by default. These drop periodically once you fill up a meter that rests alongside the play area. There are four types. One variety looks like a bomb and vaporizes anything within range once it lands. Another is V-shaped. If you match it with several pills or viruses of the same color, everything on the screen that matches that hue will vanish. A circular capsule with a “C” engraved on it wipes out all its brethren but leaves the viruses in play. Finally, arrow formations eliminate all objects in a horizontal row, a vertical column, or a cross pattern.
Nowhere are the miraculous power-ups featured more prominently than in the game's new mode, Miracle Cure Laboratory. It presents 50 puzzles that ease players into the game's design, and you can use the tutorial option if you need more assistance. The available stages are quite fun, particularly because some of them force you to play in ways you otherwise might not try. A few of the challenges are genuinely puzzling, relying on more than just twitch reflexes as you get rid of virus clusters. For example, you might need to stack pills in a column so they reach the same elevation as a series of vertical arrows and then drop a horizontal arrow in place so it eliminates and activates those other arrows. It's a shame there aren't more puzzles available, though. Even a middling Dr. Mario player probably won't require more than 3 or 4 hours to conquer them all, which just doesn't feel like enough when every other mode borrows so heavily from past house calls.
The game's title doesn't make it obvious, but Mario isn't the only physician on the scene. Luigi also returns for an encore performance, following his 2013 starring turn in Dr. Luigi on Wii U. The lankier brother throws pills that are stuck together in L-shaped formations. Dealing with them requires a different sort of planning because the combos that are a good idea when Mario hands out doses are now practically required. If you can’t think a few steps ahead, you're in for a bit of trouble. It's fun for a few rounds, but also exasperating compared to Mario's more conventional treatment, because a run of unhelpful pills turns into a disaster twice as quickly.
Outside the Miracle Cure Laboratory mode waits the Custom Clinic, which you can configure as you see fit. Here, you can choose between Mario and Luigi, depending on which pill formations sound the most interesting at the time. Then you can either compete against an AI opponent or a wall of viruses that slowly rises as you place pieces. If you go with the former option, things can get frustrating if you don’t play quickly. When the AI makes a lot of matches in short order, you must deal with handicaps. Blocks suddenly might refuse to turn, or pressing left on the d-pad might make a block move in the opposite direction. Such effects only last a short while, but they make things difficult in a way that extra debris does not. That's not necessarily an improvement, but at least it's different.
If you're looking to enjoy an experience that precisely matches the old NES game, you're out of luck. The Custom Clinic is as close as you'll get, but there are some differences. You no longer have the option to start with only a few pills and then advance from stage to stage, which at one time was standard in a number of Nintendo's puzzle games. If that's how you want to play, you're better off turning to Dr. Mario on the Virtual Console.
Much like Luigi and his wonky capsules, the Virus Buster mode appeared previously in Dr. Luigi. In this mode, the player holds the 3DS sideways and uses a stylus to manipulate pills instead of the d-pad and face buttons. The action's pace slows substantially here, and it needed to. Flipping and dropping pills with a stylus doesn't feel nearly as intuitive because it's easy to accidentally flip a pill when you intended to drag and drop it. That kind of mistake can ruin your whole game if you aren't allowed at least a split-second to recover. The slower pace also allows multiple pills to eventually start dropping at once. You can move them around in any order you like or even grab falling debris to set up combos on the fly. It's an interesting switch from the norm, and things get fairly frantic on the higher settings, though Virus Buster doesn't lend itself to lengthy sessions in the way that classic Dr. Mario modes do.
Multiplayer modes make up for most of the ancillary modes' shortcomings, at least, and could go a long way toward keeping Miracle Cure in heavy rotation if you have interested friends. You can play locally with a buddy (Download Play is offered in the event he or she hasn't purchased the game and doesn't mind you choosing the rules that govern play), or you can battle on the Nintendo Network. In either case, you have your choice of doctor, and Miracle Cures can be disabled if you prefer, though the lack of stage progression keeps this option from allowing a proper replica of the original Dr. Mario. When you play online, rankings are tracked for each different setup, which should keep things competitive if enough people play. Currently, though, the online scene is rather barren.
Considering how long Dr. Mario has been around, the modifications here serve as a pleasant surprise and manage to inject a fresh element into a puzzling experience that is by now a bit long in the tooth. Even without the new content, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is a worthwhile addition to the serious puzzle fan's gaming library. It just doesn't offer enough that's new compared to Dr. Luigi to warrant a glowing recommendation if you already invested in that other recent release.
Xbox user Sonicdude20th has uploaded a series of videos showing off Predator and Carl Weathers Jax taking on a series of challengers. These videos--which highlight finishing moves, variations, and more--may get pulled, so watch them here while you can.
Reddit user grassisalwayspurpler has compiled some screengrabs for Predator and Carl Weathers Jax, among others. Take a closer look at these images in the gallery at the bottom of this post.
Predator will mark the third DLC character to be released for the game following Jason Voorhees and Tanya. All three characters were previously confirmed to be coming as DLC along with Tremor. So far, they've each been made available as their own individual purchases as well as in the $30 Kombat Pack.
If you want to try Predator without paying, you just have to be patient--like regular characters, DLC fighters may be featured in the game's challenge tower, allowing everyone a chance to fight as them.
But Bethesda was uncertain about how Fallout Shelter would do. According to a new interview from GamesIndustry with Bethesda Marketing VP Pete Hines, the studio had to wait on the huge announcement of Fallout 4 before talking about Fallout Shelter. Even then, Bethesda was uncertain about how its new foray into mobile gaming would do.
"If we tried to do this last year without announcing what Bethesda Game Studios was doing [Fallout 4] and said, 'Oh we're doing a game and it's on mobile and it's called Fallout Shelter,' we'd probably get lynched, right?" Hines said. "There would be pitchforks at the gate. 'That's not the Fallout we asked for, you bastards!' But doing it this way, they're like, 'I'm getting what I want and oh, by the way, while I wait here's this other free thing that's fun to play.'"
Bethesda is known for its big console and PC RPGs like Fallout and the Elder Scrolls series. It has not spent much time in the past working in the mobile space, and so Hines described how the studio didn't really know what to expect from the launch of Fallout Shelter.
Hines stated, "To be honest, I'm not sure what we expected. It's not like we're a pretty well-known iOS and iPhone developer where we've been down this road before and it's going to go like this. But it seemed like it ought to be pretty popular, the whole idea of, 'This thing exists and you can go play it today.' On the back of all the Fallout 4 stuff, we thought it would do well, but we weren't sure how well. Suffice to say, we're pretty pleased right now with how well it's doing."
But the studio isn't content to just allow the game to exist as it is now. Hines went on to reveal that Bethesda has plans for Fallout Shelter, including the possibility of adding new content to the game. He also said that the developer probably won't begin massive advertising campaigns for Fallout Shelter, although fans should expect some marketing in the future.
"We're going to at some point do some marketing around it," he explained. "At this point we've essentially done none. And we do have plans for supporting it going forward in the way of content, ideas we have and things we want to try... This is not meant to be a Game of War, Clash of Clans, or Boom Beach competitor. It's trying to do something different and I don't know whether or not I see us doing Fallout Shelter TV commercials for it. But that's something we've talked about, and we tend to never rule anything out even if we say, well that's not something we're going to do right now."
Fallout Shelter launched amid a bunch of new reveals about Fallout 4 during Bethesda's press conference. Fallout 4 will be released on November 10 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Fallout Shelter is currently only available for iOS devices, but Bethesda is planning on putting it on Android devices soon.
"After much deliberation, we've come to an important decision that we'd like to share: Echoes will be the last major content patch for Scrolls," the developer explained. "We won't be adding features or sets from now on, though we are planning to keep a close eye on game balance."
Scrolls will remain available to buy "for the time being," while servers will stay online through "at least" July 1. "All future proceeds will go towards keeping Scrolls playable for as long as possible," Mojang said.
Mojang went on to say that "tens of thousands" of people played Scrolls every day. However, "the game has reached a point where it can no longer sustain continuous development," the studio explained.
"We've had a great time working on Scrolls, and appreciate every last player who's downloaded our game. Extra big thanks to the most dedicated members of our community; some of you have logged in almost every day since release and dedicated a large portion of your time to dominating the leaderboards and taking care of new players," it added. "We salute you, honorable scrolldiers."
The closure of Scrolls comes less than a year after Microsoft's acquisition of Mojang. It is unclear if Mojang has any other games in development, or if the studio is now focused exclusively on Minecraft.
Scrolls has been somewhat controversial. In August 2011, Bethesda took legal action against Mojang, claiming that the studio was infringing on a trademark for the Elder Scrolls series. This case was later settled, with Mojang able to keep the Scrolls name as long as it agreed not to make an Elder Scrolls competitor.
For its part, Bethesda just recently announced its own Elder Scrolls collectible card game called The Elder Scrolls Legends. It's unclear if this has anything to do with Scrolls shutting down.
Members can start playing on July 9, ahead of the game's full release on July 14. You'll get to try out the full game, but play time is limited to 10 hours, EA confirmed on Twitter.
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour--the first entry in the series since 2013--is in development exclusively for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It doesn't include The Masters and is the first game in EA's series since 1999 to not feature golfing icon Tiger Woods.
The game runs on DICE's Frostbite engine, and promises no loading screens between holes.
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour was originally expected to launch in June, but was later delayed so that EA could make sure the online infrastructure will be smooth and stable at release. Launching during the same week as the Open Championship at St. Andrews certainly doesn't hurt either.
The two headsets were loaded onto the intergalactic vessel alongside food and other supplies, ultimately headed to the International Space Station--but they never made it.
The ship blew up just minutes into the trip, with the HoloLens units and other supplies burning up upon re-entry into earth's atmosphere.
Why were HoloLens headsets headed to the ISS in the first place? It's not because the astronauts heard about Microsoft's Halo HoloLens demo and wanted to try it. Rather, Microsoft and NASA are teaming up for a new project called Sidekick, in which astronauts use commercial technology to aid them on their missions.
Presumably, Microsoft will provide more HoloLens headsets for SpaceX's next attempt.
Space is hard... @NASA we're with you and ready to try again!— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) June 28, 2015
According to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, the Falcon 9 ship failed due to an "overpressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank." Unfortunately for SpaceX, after "several thousand" engineering hours of review, the company has yet to pinpoint a reason for the explosion.
For more on Microsoft's Sidekick program with NASA, check out this blog post and the video below.
Here's the official description for the quest, which is called "Where the Cat and the Wolf Play...":
"Explore a forgotten village and discover its terrifying secret. Find out who or what slaughtered its inhabitants and use all your witcher skills to confront this mysterious force."
After you apply the latest Witcher 3 game update, you'll find a new witcher contract in Oreton village. Inhabitants of the nearby city of Honorton are struggling against a monster known as a "spook." It's your job, as usual, to save the day.
This quest is free DLC number 15 of 16 planned add-ons. The final free content will be released next week.
But that won't be the end of The Witcher 3's DLC offerings. The first of two major, paid add-ons, Hearts of Stone, will launch in October. This will be followed by Blood and Wine in early 2016. You can buy them together for $25, though individual pricing has not been announced.
The game was released for 3DS back in January and has seen 4.5 million downloads to date.
Pokemon Shuffle is similar in presentation to Bejeweled and Candy Crush, but it replaces the gems with faces of popular Pokemon such as Bulbasaur and Charmander, among others.
Players must line these up in rows of three for them to disappear. The twist on the match-three format is that a player will have a limited number of moves available to create a certain number of matches, meaning that in some cases thinking ahead is required to chain combos together..
Pokemon Shuffle is not The Pokemon Company's first mobile game. It follows other apps, including Pokemon TV, Pokedex, Camp Pokemon, and Pokemon TCG Online, among others.
Are you going to try Pokemon Shuffle? Let us know in the comments below!
The Microsoft Store continues to offer a free game of your choice with the purchase of an Xbox One. On top of that it's including a $50 store credit and a copy of Assassin's Creed: Unity with the purchase of the Halo Master Chief Collection Xbox One bundle for $349. That same deal is available with the $399 1 TB model Xbox One that's now on sale with the new controller and a copy of Master Chief Collection.
Project Cars is $50 at both Amazon (Xbox One/PS4) and Best Buy (Xbox One/PS4). Gamers Club Unlocked members can get it for $40 at Best Buy.
Costco is selling Batman: Arkham Knight for $50 on Xbox One and PS4 with $2 shipping.
Buy BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend on PS4 or Xbox One at Best Buy this week and get a $10 gift card.
You can preorder Mad Max or Rory McIlroy PGA Tour through Dell and receive a $15 gift card.
Below you'll find the rest of today's best deals divided by platform:
Walmart continues to sell the Last of Us Remastered PS4 bundle with an extra controller or Battlefield Hardline for $399. Alternatively, you can add $10 to get The Witcher 3 or Mortal Kombat X in place of the controller/Hardline.
Buy the Batman: Arkham Knight PS4 bundle for $400 at Newegg and get a free PlayStation Silver wired headset.
Buy J-Stars Victory VS+ at Best Buy and get Dragon Ball Xenoverse for $30.
The PlayStation Store has a sale going on where you can get WWE 2K15 for $30, Stealth Inc. 2 for $7.49, or Evolve's Digital Deluxe Edition for $36. There's also a PlayStation Plus member-only sale with Grim Fandango for $15, Skullgirls 2nd Encore for $20, and more.
Other PS4 game deals:
The free PlayStation Plus games for June are now available and include Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Skulls of the Shogun, and more. July's games should be available next week.
Walmart is selling the Halo Master Chief Collection Xbox One bundle with a free second controller $349. You also get a free copy of Watch Dogs or Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, or you can pay a bit more to replace it with Need for Speed: Rivals - Complete Edition ($5), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ($20), or Batman: Arkham Knight ($30).
Buy an Xbox One at Best Buy and get The Witcher 3 for $25.
Trade in any Xbox 360 or PS3 at the Microsoft Store and get a $100 credit toward a new Xbox One.
You can buy a year of Xbox Live Gold on eBay for $36.
Microsoft's latest Deals With Gold promotion is on, discounting a handful of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games, such as Evolve for $30, The Crew for $30, and Dishonored for $6.79. You can check out all the deals here.
The first episode of Telltale's Game of Thrones series is free on Xbox Live.
Other Xbox One game deals:
June's free Games With Gold games are now available and include Massive Chalice and Thief.
The latest Humble Bundle is entirely focused on the Borderlands series, allowing you to get the games and their respective DLC on the cheap.
The new Humble Weekly Bundle is the latest in the Eye Candy series, featuring games like Where Is My Heart, Back to Bed, and The Dream Machine for just a few dollars.
GOG has a big sale on classic games, offering Empire Earth: Gold Edition for $1.79, Alien vs. Predator Classic 2000 for $1.79, Evil Genius for $3, and more.
Get 23 percent off your purchase at Green Man Gaming using the promo code GET23P-ERCENT-OFFGMG.
Ultima VIII: Gold Edition is free on Origin.
Other PC game deals:
If you don't mind a refurbished system, Nintendo's online store has a Wii U bundle with Nintendo Land for $200, or Nintendo Land and Super Mario 3D World for $225.
Walmart is offering a New 3DS XL bundle with Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and your choice of select Amiibo figurines for $219.
Alternatively, the retailer has a New 3DS XL bundle with your choice of select games and a Pokemon figurine for $219. Eligible games include Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, and quite a few more.
Target is offering a buy one, get one 50 percent off deal on several 3DS games: Mario Kart 7 ($30), New Super Mario Bros. 2 ($29.49), Super Mario 3D Land ($30), and Super Smash Bros ($40).
A number of Sega 3D Classics are on sale for $3 on the eShop, including Streets of Rage, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Hang-On.
The PlayStation TV is available for $40 GameStop.
Amazon prices are accurate as of publishing, but can fluctuate occasionally throughout the day.
GameSpot's gaming deals posts always highlight the best deals we can find regardless of retailer. We also occasionally use retailer affiliate links, which means that purchasing goods through those links helps support all the great content (including the deals posts) you find for free here on the site.