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Physical retail may not be doing as poorly as feared

Analysts from analytics firm Sterne Agee say they are tentatively optimistic for retail giant GameStop, saying recent and upcoming launches may be enough to prop up the chain through 2013. …


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Ten Of The Most Grotesque Video Game Creatures Ever

Everyone takes a different approach to Halloween costumes. Some go for clever topical getups, like your Miley Cyrus plus Stylish Beetlejuice Man. Others prefer clever wordplay, like a “Deer Hunter” who is actually a deer with neon orange gear and a gun. But some bold Halloween enthusiasts put so much effort into making their costumes disgusting and terrible that others have trouble even looking at them. This list is dedicated to the most disturbing and grotesque video game characters around. They are so disgusting that you’d kick your best friend out of your Halloween party if they came dressed as one.

Boomer – Left 4 Dead

It’s saying something when you’re so repugnant that you stand out from hordes of decaying zombies. The gurgling sounds of the Boomer’s indigestion heralds the bloated creature before he even appears. These bulbous monstrosities are riddled with tumors, wear crusty old sweatpants, and have stomachs so large their stained t-shirts don’t fit anymore. Boomers were clearly slobs even before zombification. Puking zombie-bait all over survivors and exploding into a gooey mess just pushes these blobs over the edge.

Clickers – The Last of Us

Similar to Boomers, you know these nasty foes are around the corner by their unnerving clicking sounds. Clickers’ heads have blossomed into macabre fungal formations, leaving fragments of exposed teeth and skull behind. Imagine the discomfort of what is basically a gigantic mushroom growing from the inside of your head. The clickers’ inside-out heads are among the most unsettling creatures in modern video games.

The Great Mighty Poo – Conker’s Bad Fur Day

A gigantic pile of singing poop seems funny, and then you start to really think about it. This sentient crap golem heaves globs of himself at our furry hero, Conker. The pieces of poop land as solid chunks, then dissolve into the ground. His teeth are pieces of undigested corn. He can only be defeated with rolls of toilet paper before being flushed down the drain. Conker deserves an honorary degree from plumbing school for his triumph over this unsanitary s— monster.

Voldo – Soul Calibur

Body language is everything. With that in mind, Voldo is a disturbing mess of a fighting game character. His boneless posture and bondage outfit are a powerfully off-putting combination. The gangly combatant puts other creepy crawlers like Gollum to shame with his awkward cartwheel maneuver. Just don’t look at Voldo, okay?

Necromorph – Dead Space 2

Even the bread-and-butter enemies of the Dead Space series are terrifying. A bizarre artifact twists the bodies of living creatures into distorted monsters. Femurs fracture and become scythes. Jaws split into deadly mandibles. These transformations are somewhat shrouded in darkness during the first Dead Space, but the sequel’s first necromorph encounter shows the entire bloody metamorphosis. This unflinching mutation reminds us just how disgusting these creatures are.

Cleopatra – Dante’s Inferno

Dante battles his way through the rings of hell throughout this fast-paced action game. The creatures based on the seven deadly sins are generally nasty, but the boss guarding the Circle of Lust takes the prize. The gigantic, topless Cleopatra chases after Dante, complete with carefully rendered breasts. *** shoots from her enormous nipples as tiny babies with scythe hands crawl from within like a popped spider egg. 

The Gatherers – Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Over an hour passes in Amnesia before players encounter the first enemy. Even when the first Gatherer does appear you only catch a glimpse before turning heel. These abominations follow the typical naked, wrinkly flesh design common with horror game enemies, but their mouth is the true selling point. Their stretched, ripped maw hangs down onto their chests. Bulging, wandering eyes peer through the darkness while they hunt you down. Gatherers are wretched creatures.

Split Head – Silent Hill

The creatures roaming the foggy streets of Silent Hill are almost uniformly terrifying. The faceless nurses, Pyramid Head, and knife-wielding ghost children are enough to fuel any nightmare. The first big boss encounter of Silent Hill rises above them all. After working through the rusty, nightmarish elementary school, players confront a gigantic lizard in the boiler room. Just when you think this monster is going to open its jaws and take a bite out of you, its entire head splits open sideways and swallows you whole.

 

Poison Headcrab Zombie – Half-Life 2

Normal headcrabs are agile parasites that latch to humans’ heads and turn them into zombies. Standard headcrabs are fast and small, making them annoying but not outright deadly. The poison variant injects a toxin that drains players’ health to a single hit point, leaving them vulnerable in an inhospitable world. Worse yet, groups of poisonous headcrabs latch onto a single host. Where there’s one venomous spider-thing, there’s bound to be others.

Bellyache – Splatterhouse 

A plethora of putrid enemies infest Namco’s gory Splatterhouse series. Take a look at our Halloween SCAREplay Special for a look at the bloody franchise. Among the nastiest foes is a creature aptly named Bellyache. This early boss of Splatterhouse 2 looks like a veiny, surgically removed polyp with teeth. The bulbous growth specializes in puking acidic vomit and generally being disgusting. Namco did a great job harnessing 16-bit technology to pull off this monstrosity.

 

Did we miss a creature you consider undeniably wretched? Sound off in the comments below.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Outlast on sale for Halloween, new Whistleblower DLC is already scary

So there’s good news and bad news: Outlast, the terrifying asylum game from Red Barrels, is 33 percent off right now, making it just $ 13. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there’s also a new expansion for Outlast coming up, and this means we’re going to play more Outlast. The first round was almost too much terror for one lifetime.

The expansion is titled Whistleblower and it tells the tale of Miles Upshur, the man who sent that tip about the horrors of Mount Massive Asylum to the journalist starring in the full game. Miles discovers first-hand (and finger, if the teaser image is anything to go by) the torture and experiments conducted on the patients of Mount Massive, and he gets involved in the slaughter preceding Outlast‘s main story.

Anyone interested in more Outlast, hands up! … Ew, hands down.

JoystiqOutlast on sale for Halloween, new Whistleblower DLC is already scary originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blog: My Hardest Bug Ever

Naughty Dog alum Dave Baggett shares the tale of one game bug that ended up standing head and shoulders above the rest — and how he ended up dealing with it. …


Gamasutra News

Top 10 Alternate Costumes

Halloween is all about the costumes, but video game characters don't need a holiday as an excuse to dress up in different clothing. Alternate costumes and character skins are a common extra feature, putting a slightly different twist on the action for gamers who enjoy multiple playthroughs. This list highlights the best of the bunch – new outfits that change the look and feel of the characters, and can even alter the gameplay.

10. Nelo Angelo – Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition

Players who complete hard mode as Vergil unlock the "Corrupt Vergil" character skin. In addition to some visual differences, this incarnation uses the Nelo Angelo (Vergil's form from the original Devil May Cry) as its devil trigger form. Players are able to use all of Nelo Angelo's signature abilities, like energy blasts and summoned swords. From a fan perspective, the ability to storm around as this intimidating figure is a dream come true.

9. Mascot – Bully

Nothing shows your school spirit like becoming the Bullworth Bullhorns' mascot and traipsing around campus. Unlocked in the lead-up to a hilarious mission that has Jimmy Hopkins sabotaging the big football game, this get-up allows players to perform the mascot's signature cow dance for nearby students. It may not make Jimmy the most popular student, but the mascot suit still delivers the laughs.

8. Raiden – Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

In a rare instance of cross-publisher cameos, Ezio can take on the appearance of cyborg Raiden from Konami's Metal Gear Solid series. By performing well on virtual training challenges, players earn this anachronistic outfit. Despite Raiden's typical array of weapons and abilities, Ezio doesn't gain any additional powers while wearing the cyber-suit. However, just seeing this futuristic warrior climbing around Rome is worth the effort.

7. The Amazing Bag Man – Spider Man: Shattered Dimensions

This obscure and humiliating outfit has only appeared a handful of times in the Spider-Man universe – primarily when the webslinger loses his regular suit. Borrowing some spare clothes from the Fantastic Four and hiding his identity with a paper bag, Peter Parker is able to keep his identity a secret. The suit even has a "kick me" sign on the back. Kudos to developer Beenox for including this bizarre and amusing reference in Shattered Dimensions. 

6. Cod of War – God of War II

Kratos is much less intimidating dressed as a fish…especially since he also wields fish hooks instead of his blades of chaos. In addition to making him look ridiculous, the Cod of War costume (unlocked by beating the game) also increases the value of red orbs. That means that players can upgrade skills faster at the expense of Kratos' dignity. 

On the next page: A dapper secret agent, a sexy bear, and more…


www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Heads will roll with Total War: ROME II Blood & Gore DLC

Have you been playing Total War: ROME II? Do you find it lacking a bit in the gore compartment? If so, then the new DLC, Blood & Gore, will be the answer to what you’ve been looking for.

Blood & Gore brings the savagery of front-line combat to life with decapitations, dismemberment and devastating impalements and features hundreds of gruesome animations. The epic set pieces and realistic warfare of Rome are nothing without some good old fashion carnage, right?

Total War: ROME II Blood & Gore DLC is available now on Steam for $ 2.99.


That VideoGame Blog

PS Plus delivers Dragon’s Dogma, Soul Sacrifice, free PS4 games in November

Sony unveiled next month’s PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive a slate of free games for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and PlayStation 4 in time for International Turkey Day.

Sony’s subscription service hosts its first batch of PlayStation 4 freebies in November, as early adopters will receive free downloadable copies of Compulsion Games’ shadowy puzzle-platformer Contrast and Housemarque’s Defender-like shoot-’em-up Resogun. Contrast serves as a last-minute replacement for Driveclub, which was originally scheduled to take part in next month’s PlayStation Plus lineup before its recent delay.

Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen and Sega’s Binary Domain headline November’s PlayStation 3 offerings, joining Sparpweed’s co-op action game Ibb and Obb. PlayStation Vita owners can expect to see Sony’s Monster Hunter-inspired action-RPG Soul Sacrifice, along with an upgraded HD version of Just Add Water’s Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath.

PlayStation Plus members in Europe will receive Konami’s Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance starting next month, along with Remember Me, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, and MotorStorm RC.

JoystiqPS Plus delivers Dragon’s Dogma, Soul Sacrifice, free PS4 games in November originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf has moved over 6M copies

Animal Crossing: New Leaf continues to lead on Nintendo 3DS, netting over 6 million units over its lifetime. It will likely only be outstripped by the recently released Pokemon X & Y. …


Gamasutra News

Top 10 Creepiest Masks In Video Games

Masks serve many functions in video games. Sometimes they’re just used to change a character’s appearance, and sometimes they bestow bonuses or trigger transformations. It’s undeniable, however, that some of the best or most memorable masks are also pretty creepy. Whether it’s the way it looks, the story behind it, or some combination of the two, some masks are just plain scary. The following are our top ten picks for the creepiest masks in video games.

10. Don Juan Mask (Hotline Miami)

The player-character in Hotline Miami always wears one of many animal-head masks, which are anything but funny. With the masks’ cut-out eye-holes, anyone who dons one looks like a soulless chimera – in the game’s art, at least. Apart from the default one, each mask grants players special abilities or bonuses. The Don Juan Mask may grant the most frightening bonus of all: lethal doors. Think about how many doors are in your house. Kratos forbid some wacko comes to your house wearing the Don Juan Mask.

9. Cubone’s Mask (Pokémon)

Cubone seems like a normal Pokémon at first, if a bit of an oddball for wearing a skull on its head. The Pokédex tells a different story, however. In several of the Pokémon games, including Versions X and Y, Cubone’s Pokédex entry identifies the skull as that of Cubone’s mother. That’s a pretty frightening description for a character in a game primarily marketed toward children. Does every Cubone kill its own mother? While it makes for a frightening story, that doesn’t seem to be the case; the Pokédex also tells players about the mournful cries Cubone emits at night or when it’s feeling lonesome.

8. Handsome Jack’s Mask (Borderlands 2)

Handsome Jack is pretty damn funny, but his mask? Not so much. That mask is disturbing. The mask is skin-colored, but is slightly lighter than Jack’s skin, suggesting he’s been wearing it for a while. Jack even seems to have pieces of metal grafted onto his face to better secure the mask. Most unsettling is the way it moves with his face when he’s talking, even reflecting his emotions. The creep-factor is amplified further when you learn more about Jack’s history, and start speculating about why he wears it.

7. Death’s Mask (Darksiders II)

This mask may look simple, but it provides the Horseman of Death with a visage that suits his occupation. It most resembles a skull, but features narrower eye sockets and is completely solid where the mouth should be. Death first dons his trademark mask after executing countless members of his own race, the Nephilim, on the orders of the Charred Council. As a Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death is expected to be imposing. He carries giant scythes, and wears impressive armor, but it’s his beady red eyes peering from behind this mask that really completes the look.

6. Miraak’s Mask (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

Scattered across Skyrim are the resting places of the powerful dragon priests, servants of the great beasts in ancient times. A few of these priests wear masks of great power, which players can take for themselves if the priest is defeated. There are many such masks in Skyrim, but one in particular looks like it was designed by H.P. Lovecraft. Its owner, Miraak, is even said to be the first Dragonborn by Tamriel’s resident cthulhu monster Hermaeus Mora himself. Besides looking like a tentacled abomination, Miraak’s mask also grants its wearer additional Magicka, letting the Dragonborn shock people on multiple fronts.

[Next up: See our five creepiest masks. Are you wearing one of these for Halloween?]


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Ubisoft cans Uplay Passport for all future games, starting with AC4

Ubisoft’s Uplay Passport, a one-time-use code in new games that grants access to online features, will not be included in any future games and is being stripped from Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.

“The Uplay Passport program was initiated as a means of giving customers full access and support for online multiplayer and features, along with exclusive content, bonuses and rewards,” Ubisoft writes. “However, games today are blurring the line between offline and online, between what is ‘single player’ and what is ‘multiplayer.’ Based on that and on the feedback we received from you, we recognized that Passport is no longer the best approach for ensuring that all our customers have the best possible experience with all facets of our games.”

Uplay in Black Flag restricted single-player access to the game’s fleet management system, Ubisoft confirmed. Ubisoft is eliminating the cost of the Uplay Passport in Black Flag – those without one can download a code for free via Xbox Live or PSN, and those who already bought one can contact regional Ubisoft support for more information.

JoystiqUbisoft cans Uplay Passport for all future games, starting with AC4 originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 31 Oct 2013 16:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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