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Day of the Tentacle & The Division devs unite to write World of Darkness audio drama

Paradox-owned White Wolf has cut a deal with interactive audio drama firm Earplay that will see Dave Grossman working with writer Richard Dansky to create a full-length “interactive audio experience.” …

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World Of Final Fantasy Review – Capturing The Past

The last few mainline Final Fantasy titles made major modifications to the series’ long-standing formula, experimenting with new structures and battle systems. World of Final Fantasy casts that aside, deliberately returning to its roots and celebrating the series’ past, both in terms of cast and mechanics. You control twin siblings (Lann and Reynn) with the power to capture monsters, which is a thinly veiled excuse for players to embark on a greatest-hits tour of Final Fantasy’s extensive bestiary. The range of beasts is impressive, from fan-favorites like Behemoths and Moogles to deeper cuts like Skull Eaters and Nightmares. You collect these iconic creatures, improve their stats, and teach them signature attacks, then use them in a battle system that surprised me with its depth – especially considering the game’s cute aesthetic.

The concept clearly borrows from Pokémon, but World of Final Fantasy goes beyond this inspiration by adding satisfying layers of complexity. Instead of relying on the monsters individually, the real goal is combining their skills (and the protagonists’) into effective ability sets. You do this by stacking them on top of each other according to their size categories, and though it looks ridiculous to see your characters with monsters precariously teetering on their heads, it opens the door for lots of cool experimentation. For instance, a stack with Ifrit on the bottom, Lann in the middle (the twins can be large or medium-sized), and a Sylph on top gives you powerful fire powers and helpful support options. However, replacing the Slyph with a Flammantoise lets you absorb fire attacks, since its resistance compounds with Ifrit’s. Once you get a lot of monsters and unlock their skills, the freedom to diversify or specialize is incredibly fun.

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You only manage a two-member party in combat, since Lann and Reynn have just one active stack at a time and can’t swap mid-battle. This sometimes makes battles overly simple, but the added challenge of toppling enemy stacks and capturing new creatures keeps the action interesting. Winning battles isn’t hard; the challenge comes from meeting conditions necessary to recruit particular monsters. Killing a Tonberry King is easy, but getting its health low enough to make it vulnerable to capture without killing it is the real trick. The encounters drag on after you obtain everything cool in an area, but expanding your army with familiar beasts is a real treat for longtime Final Fantasy players.

The monsters aren’t the only recognizable elements you encounter. The “what-if” world you explore is a tenuously connected mishmash of Final Fantasy hallmarks, including towns, characters, and musical themes. I can’t list them all, but my time with previous Final Fantasy games was rewarded with constant nods, references, and cameos that made me smile.

If you like old-school Final Fantasy, this probably sounds like your prayers have been answered. However, a critical aspect of the formula is missing: the story. While seeing all of the established elements of the series is great, the newly created content is miserable. The premise is thin, but the pacing is especially bad. After you’re introduced to the world and characters, the plot plateaus for the entire game. People say vague and cryptic things about a larger threat, but those statements never coalesce or escalate. I was at the 40-hour mark before anything made sense (the story is way longer than it needs to be), but the clarity comes all at once, so I was long past caring by then. Not only is the exposition weak, but almost every cutscene has painfully unfunny banter between the main characters – including an irritating magic fox who randomly inserts “the-” before the-multiple words in every the-sentence.

Similar to my experience playing Final Fantasy XIII-2, I eventually just had to tune out the plot to enjoy the gameplay. That’s a shame, but it doesn’t erase the entertaining battle system, the satisfaction of building an unstoppable monster collection, or the thrill of seeing your favorite characters back in action. The barrage of references might be lost on casual followers who don’t have the nostalgia to draw from, but that’s okay. World of Final Fantasy is aimed directly at fans with fond memories of the series’ first 15 years. – The Feed

Test Chamber – Why World Of Final Fantasy Is A Love Letter To Fans

The Final Fantasy series tries to evolve and stay modern with each new installment, but World of Final Fantasy intentionally focuses on the past. By collecting iconic characters and monsters and using a traditional turn-based battle system, anyone with fond memories of this franchise should find something to enjoy here. 

Join Final Fantasy fanatics Joe Juba and Kim Wallace as they take a tour through the major beats of World of Final Fantasy, looking at classic creatures and talking about how the old-school battle system holds up. If you've played previous Final Fantasy games, you're bound to recognize a few faces.

Warning: We used a late-game save file for this video. It doesn't spoil any key story points, but it does reveal some monsters and abilities that you only get near the end. Proceed at your own risk!

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For more Test Chamber, click the banner below, or check out our hub. – The Feed

New Lime Green 3DS XL Includes Pre-Installed Copy Of Super Mario World

Although the Nintendo Switch is getting all of the attention this week, the company's other portable, the 3DS, is still trucking along just fine. It's gotten plenty of great games this year, Pokémon Sun and Moon are on the way, and now, you can get it in a delightful lime green color.

The new color (which is black on the inside) is an Amazon exclusive and comes bundled with a digital copy of Super Mario World. It retails for $ 200 (same as all the other 3DS models) and does not include its own AC charger. Earlier this year, Nintendo also unveiled the Galaxy-themed New 3DS XL, though that did not come with a game of its own.


Our Take
I'm not ashamed to say I bought one of these. I'm proud! I don't have a 3DS, and this one comes with one of the greatest games of all time. Please don't judge me. – The Feed

What To Watch This Weekend: Wizard World, Super Smash Bros., And Counter-Strike

This weekend is full of exciting tournaments, but it's really just a precursor for next weekend, when a number of huge tournaments will kick off and conclude at the same time. But why worry about the future when there's plenty to watch this weekend?

If you're looking for a number of different games to watch today and tomorrow, make sure to tune into Wizard World Tulsa's gaming stream, which will have exhibitions and tournaments in Street Fighter, Naruto, and more. (Stream, schedule on Twitch page) 

For a more dedicated fighting game event, check out the Red Bull Battlegrounds, which will finally choose its finalist for the Red Bull Battle Grounds from a 16-player bracket from across the United States and Canada. (Stream / Schedule)

You can also catch some major Super Smash Bros. action at the Eclipse 2 tournament in Norway, which will feature some of the world's strongest European talent, including Adam "Armada" Lindgren and William "Leffen" Hjelte. (Stream / Schedule)

The Counter-Strike:Global Offensive E-League kicks off this weekend on both Twitch and TV network TBS. Several of the game's top teams will compete for an enormous $ 400,000 first-place prize as a TV audience judges them harshly. (Stream / Schedule) For a more online-oriented affair, you can watch the ever-popular Epicenter tournament, which has a $ 250,000 prize for first place. (Stream)

You can also catch the tail end of this week's Hearthstone Celestial Invitational, which has some of the world's best players battling it out for a $ 60,000 prize pool. (Stream / Schedule)

Finally, this the last week of the League of Legends Worlds tournament before the grand finals, so make sure to catch all the matches leading up to what should be the most-viewed esports match of the year. (Stream / Schedule)

That's it for this weekend! Make sure to let us know about any tournaments we may have missed in the comments. Happy Watching! – The Feed

Science-Fiction Weekly – Jurassic World 2, Star Citizen, Reborn, Loading Human

Star Wars: The Force Awakens dominated 2015's domestic box office with $ 936,662,225 earned, the highest since Avatar in 2009. We expected Star Wars to be embraced in a big way, but I think it's safe to assume few people believed Jurassic World would be a juggernaut, let alone the fourth highest grossing movie of all time with $ 652,270,625 in theater receipts. The buzz coming off of the trailers wasn't great, but like a raptor sneaking through the grass, it was the surprise blockbuster of the year.

That enormous success has led to the announcement of Jurassic World turning into a trilogy. Work on the second film is well under way with Juan Antonio Bayona taking Colin Trevorrow's place in the director's seat. We are now learning that the sequel, set to release on June 22, 2018, will be more terrifying than its predecessor. This news comes from an interview with Bayona, conducted by a Spanish publication called Noticiasrcn (and translated by Scified). "It will be darker and scarier then the previous film," Bayona said. "Obviously when you have Chris Pratt it will also be very
funny. But it will be darker. It is a second step in a trilogy, and the
second step is always dark as in [Star Wars] The Empire Strikes Back or [Star Trek] The Wrath
of Khan
which are the examples you always get. We are
going to places where the saga has never been before, and at the same
time we are paying tribute to the franchise. We will take it a step
further. There
are things that will happen that people are not expecting and they
really are shocking."

That sounds pretty damn great, but I hope the series truly embraces the "world" in its title to show us what happens when dinosaurs become a threat to society. The rumors of the military using dinosaurs on the battlefield scares the life out of me, and I hope the darker tone implies more jump scares and dinosaurs hunting in populated cities than a gritty war scenario. I know the film will have to start at the theme park, at least to get the ball rolling, but enough with the vacation setting; bring it closer to home.

Star Citizen is another thing that needs to get closer, but if the news coming out of last week's CitizenCon is any indication, release plans are still nowhere close. The buzz after the Con's two-hour keynote (which you can watch in its entirety below) was a mixture of frustration and anger. Not only did Roberts Space Industries drop the bombshell that Star Citizen's single-player game, Squadron 42, would be delayed out of 2016, it wasn't even shown at the con. Star Citizen has been in development for four years, and although backers have been fed tiny morsels along the way, it would nice to see something big release. Squadron 42 needs to hit soon.

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Let's stick to the negative vibe for just one more second: Independence Day: Resurgence is out today on Blu-ray, DVD, and UHD. It's a terrible film. An abomination, really. In my review, I say that "the writing walks a fine line between cheesy and
downright awful. It even stoops to two different urination jokes, a
middle finger being flashed to invading aliens, and Brent Spiner's
old-man butt."

If you would like to see any of that stuff, by all means watch it, but just know that it doesn't hold a candle to the original film, or most science fiction that graces the silver screen.

One thing you should put on your radar (and read immediately) is Mark Millar and Greg Capullo's incredible first issue of Reborn, published by Image Comics. With HBO's Westworld and this comic in my life, I am a happy camper right now. Part of what makes Reborn fun is uncovering what is happening, so I won't go into the plot too much, but I will say it deals with death in an interesting way. Also, the art is by Capullo – you can't beat that. Don't even dwell on the art pictured below for too long; just run out and buy this book!

If you've been dying to use virtual reality to shave a beard on an alien world, you may want to take a look at Maximum Games' Loading Human, the first entry in a new episodic adventure series for PlayStation VR (and soon on Rift and Vive). Only venture into this first episode for strange interactions like this, and not for the story or an immersive VR experience. Loading Human puts you into the shoes (and fully viewable body) of Prometheus, the son of a man who is called "the most important scientist in history." We learn that Prometheus has traveled across the galaxy to find an energy source that will save his father's life. It turns out his father is trapped in a device he created to achieve immortality. The Quintessence should free him.

To make this story unfold, Prometheus must solve item and environment-based based puzzles to open doors, activate machines, and basically make the plot move forward. The PlayStation 4's Move controllers are used in interesting ways to generate free movement in each environment. Think of Prometheus like a car. Hitting the X button makes him walk in the direction you are facing, much like stepping on the gas in a car. Rather than turning your head to alter trajectory, pointing the Move controller in a desired direction and clicking a different button makes an immediate shift in direction – an act that can be incredibly jarring at times. I wanted to move my head more than the game demanded, but the controls eventually gelled with me, and I found myself freely moving about the large spaces. The game is loaded with interactive elements, and Prometheus often reflects on items that end up in his hands.

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The story, which moves at a snail's pace, is made worse by Prometheus' stiff dialogue delivery. The puzzles don't make you think much, and are more about tinkering and discovery. This is just the first of three parts, so hopefully the gameplay and story become more interesting in the next installment, but you should probably hold off until we know more. Loading Human is off to a rough start, and it didn't conclude with a revelation that makes me want to see what happens next.

The final bit of game news I have for you this week is of the highest order: Star Control is coming back! Stardock just announced a new entry today, called Star Control: Origins. As the name implies, this game is taking us back to mankind's first steps into space. You play the role of a captain aboard Earth's first deep-space starship. Sounds cool!

And that's it for this week. Before you leave, use the comments section below to let me know what you think of the news (especially the potential direction for Jurassic World 2). See you in seven days! – The Feed

World Of Warcraft’s Return To Karazhan Patch Coming Soon

The upcoming update for World of Warcraft: Legion is coming sooner than you may think, bringing the game to version 7.1 in less than two weeks.

Return to Karazhan will be available for download on October 25. Take a look at the previously released trailer below to see what's in store for you.

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For more on Legion, be sure to take a look at Dan Tack's extensive impressions here.

[Source: Blizzard] – The Feed

World Of Warcraft’s Game Director Moves On To Mysterious New Project

Blizzard just release the latest expansion to World of Warcraft, titled Legion, and many fans are calling it the best WoW expansion in years. For many fans this is the continuation of an epic journey that has last well over a decade. For WoW's game director Tom Chilton, however, this is actually the beginning of an entirely new adventure.

On a recent blog post, Chilton talked about his long career working on WoW and how, now that Legion is done, he will be moving onto an undisclosed new project. Assistant game director Ion Hazzikostas will be taking his place as game director for World of Warcraft.

"For me, Legion has been more than just another expansion, though—it’s the culmination of more than a decade of work with one of the best development teams I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of. And it’s with a mix of excitement, sadness, and gratitude that I’m saying farewell to the WoW team and moving on to a new adventure within Blizzard."

For more on Legion, be sure to watch our two hour livestream archive. Also, find out what Chilton had to say about World of Warcraft II a few year's ago.



Our Take
Wow, indeed! Chilton has been at the helm of World of Warcraft for a long time, so we can't blame him for wanting to move on. We're itching to know what he's working on, but WoW fans should be excited that they have another mysterious Blizzard project to look forward to. – The Feed

World Of Final Fantasy Demo Coming Next Week, Check Out Opening Cinematic Now

Final Fantasy mashup World of Final Fantasy is coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita in a few weeks, but Square Enix is letting players get a little taste of the turn-based action ahead of time. A free playable demo is coming to the PlayStation Store next week, and the publisher has also released the game's animated intro for your viewing pleasure.

The demo will be available October 17, featuring Reynn and Lann in their Lilikin and Jiant forms (sound it out, it makes sense. Kind of). Players can meet up with Cloud, Lightning, and Squall in the demo, and if you complete it you can battle and capture the Magitek Armor P for use in the full version.

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The full game is coming October 25 for PS4 and the Vita. – The Feed

Dinosaurs Love Hot Dogs In Lego Jurassic World Animated Short

If the Lego Jurassic World video game didn't work for you, then maybe the animated short version will be more up your alley. The Jurassic Park YouTube page uploaded a five-part animated short of a Lego-ized loose interpretation of 2015's live-action film, Jurassic World.

There are obviously cool dinosaurs, but also a ton of hot dogs and a decent Steven Spielberg reference. While it's acceptable for kids, many adults will bemoan the loss of Chris Pratt in this series of shorts, who was arguably the best part of the feature film.

You can find the whole five-part series on the Jurassic Park YouTube page, but you can check out the first episode below.

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