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Early access version of Minecraft: Education Edition launches for free

Following a beta program featuring over 100 schools from 30 countries, the early access version of Minecraft: Education Edition has been made available for free for educations around the world.  …


Gamasutra News

Manaphy Is The Latest Mythical Pokémon Offered For Free Download

The celebrations for Pokémon's 20th Anniversary continue with another free giveaway this month. The latest creature to receive the spotlight is the adorable water type Manaphy.

Earlier this year players were able to download Celebi, Darkrai, and more creatures through a number of official distributions. Manaphy, who debuted in Diamond and Pearl versions, is the latest giveaway to roll out, available through June 24. An official video gives the full scoop on how to download the gift.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Manaphy will arrive via Nintendo Network at level 100, with the ability Hydration. A collection for the Pokémon TCG launches this month also, with an exclusive Manaphy card, pin, as well as two Generations booster packs.

[Source: Pokemon20]

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Take On Zombies As Agent 47 In Free Update For Hitman: Sniper

Mobile game Hitman: Sniper now has a new free update, Death Valley Challenge Mode, where you can tackle zombies with your sniper skills as Agent 47. Hitman: Sniper was released last summer, and serves as a mobile-market spiritual successor to Hitman: Sniper Challenge.

You must defend Ben, named after the winner of the PAX East 2016 tournament, as he desperately struggles to fix his broken car while zombies surround him within an abandoned military base.  Death Valley Challenge Mode will have three difficulty levels, 30 unlockable achievements, new custom weapon options, and A.I. that adjusts to the player’s skill level. 

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The zombies include both humans and monkeys, arriving in waves as a survival mode. Developer Square Enix Montreal has stated that new content for the original Montenegro Contracts mode is on the way as well. 

The update is now available for iOS, with Android soon to follow.   

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Free Update Brings Pistons To Minecraft Pocket Edition And Windows 10

Mojang is bringing some much-requested features to the mobile and Windows 10 versions of  Minecraft. The friendly update will allow players to make even more complex mechanisms.

Pistons and sticky pistons shook up players' creations when they were added to the original game, and this new update aims to do the same for another platform. Update 1.5 has been dubbed the friendly update, for some currently unknown reason, Mojang teases. The complex mechanisms are the updates biggest draws, but other features like pig riding and horse armor will be included.Get a look at some of the features in action with the brief overview trailer seen below.

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In addition to the inventory and environmental updates, the game will be getting a number of technical fixes. A new UI is rolling out for the main menu and a number of came-crashing bugs are being removed. Online play is expected to run smoother once the update goes like as well.

An open beta for the new update is now live for Android players. The iOS and Windows 10 players will have to wait a bit longer for it.

[Source: Mojang]

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Free Halo 5 DLC Hog Wild Hits May 31, Updates Come To Warzone Firefight

Halo developer 343 Industries announced in its blog that Halo 5: Guardians' next free DLC, Hog Wild, will release next week on May 31.

While the expansion won't include any new maps, it instead comes with a host of REQ drops, including vehicles such as new warthogs, a hybrid scope, and additional armor.

Some of the "bigger items" will release alongside Warzone Firefight at the end of June. "Just in case you missed it last week, a few of the bigger items that were slated for the Hog Wild update have been given a bit more time for finishing touches and polish," 343 Industries says in its post.  

For everything releasing on Tuesday in the Hog Wild update, check below.

The blog also mentions that updates are coming to Halo 5's Warzone Firefight, such as more "dynamic" bosses and better payoffs for Legendary bosses. You can read the full post here.

Hog Wild follows Halo 5's previous free DLC Memories of Reach which released earlier this month. Memories of Reach included Infection, a zombie-infested multiplayer mode which you can take a look at here. Additionally, Halo 5's Forge mode, which allows players to create their own maps, is coming to PC.

[Source: Halo Waypoint]

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PSA: Free PlayStation 4 Demo Now Available For Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

Odin Sphere is one of those PlayStation 2 games that didn't quite reach the popularity many felt it deserved thanks in part to an unfortunate release that occurred after the launch of the PlayStation 3. If it's one of those games you simply never got around to, now's the perfect time to check it out and see if it appeals to you, for free.

Released today, a demo is available for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, which is an overhaul of sorts of the original game for PlayStation 4. If you're holding out to check out the game on Vita, a demo for that platform will release on May 31.

For more on the game, including a trailer showing off the game's amazing art, head here.

[Source: PlayStation Store]

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Facebook acquires VR audio startup Two Big Ears, makes tools free

Oculus now has an integrated VR audio solution, which will be platform-agnostic and free-to-download. …


Gamasutra News

The Public Is Getting Into E3 For Free (Sort Of)

For the first time, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will be hosting a public E3 event. It won’t be at the Los Angeles Convention Center, though.

The ESA has announced E3 Live, taking place during E3 week at L.A. Live (right next door to the convention center). There will be gameplay hands-on opportunities, entertainment, VR demos, live music, and industry personalities.

With EA pulling out of the convention center entirely (and hosting its public EA Play event) and other related events happening nearby, this gives local gamers (and those making the trip) something more to do that week. There’s no cost to attend, but you’ll need tickets. Those under the age of 17 will need a parent accompanying them. 

The event starts on Tuesday, June 14 at 5 p.m. Pacific. On Wednesday and Thursday, the event kicks off at 12 p.m. Pacific and runs until 10 p.m. Pacific.

You can register for your tickets on the official E3 Live site.

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Battleborn’s Double XP Weekend Starts Today, First Free DLC Character Coming Soon

Battleborn players can goose their XP earnings this weekend, as part of the hero shooter's first double XP event. A new hero is also joining the fight, too, courtesy of the game's inaugural free DLC.

The XP event starts this morning at 8:00 a.m. Pacific, and it runs through Wednesday, May 25 at 8:00 a.m. You'll earn double command and character rank XP in any story mode missions or multiplayer battles in Battleborn during that period.

Some players will be able to take advantage of that bonus while playing as the game's upcoming DLC character, too. If you have the season pass or participated in the PS4 open beta, you'll be able to unlock Alani on May 24 at 9 a.m. She can be obtained in one of two ways. If you've squirreled away 47,500 in-game credits, you can spend them to add her to your roster. Otherwise, you can use a new Hero Key, which will be given to players who bought the digital deluxe version or who own the season pass. Players can use the key to instantly unlock any hero they want, and it will be returned to their inventory if they complete the required challenge objective or hit the designated command rank.

Alani will be available to all other platforms a week later, on May 31 at 9:00 a.m. Here's what Gearbox has to say about this new fighter:

A member of the Eldrid faction who was raised as a healer, but forced to be a warrior, Alani is all that remains of her order after Rendain’s Jennerit Imperium stole the oceans from her world. As a warrior from a planet with vast seas, Alani’s attacks and abilities revolve around her power to control water to dish out pain, or heal her fellow Battleborn. 

[Source: Battleborn Blog]

 

Our Take
I've spent several hours with the game, and it hasn't quite clicked with me. I don't know if another character will change the fundamental issues I have with the game, but it's great that 2K is continuing to give players additional content after Battleborn's release, like the publisher did with Evolve. I'll have to give it some more time this weekend – maybe I just needed to see my XP bars fill up more quickly. 

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Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 Free Update Adds Two New Characters This Summer

PopCap and EA are getting ready to roll out a new, free update for Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2. Trouble in Zombopolis: Part One is due out this summer.

When it lands, you’ll be able to explore Zombopolis with two new characters. Breakfast Brainz is a Super Brainz variant. Toxic Citron is a different take on the time-traveling orange.

There will also be more than 1,200 new customization items and the return of the Boat Blast shooting gallery to the Backyard Battleground hub. The update will also bring balance changes.

This marks the second free update. The first, Graveyard Variety Pack, arrived in March. For more on Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, check out our review.

[Source: EA]

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