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Star Wars Battlefront Spring DLC plans teases 'more' offline play, new heroes

Since Star Wars Battlefront's latest bit of DLC brought us two new heroes: Greedo and Nien Nunb, three new maps, a new mode, and Hutt contracts, we haven't heard much about the EA's DLC plans for the game.

In January, the game publisher outlined what we could expect for the game (as far as free content goes) up until March, with extra details on what Season Pass holders could look forward to.

A new rundown on the 'near' future of Battlefront has outlined what support we can expect for the game this Spring. According to the publisher, there will be a bit a of free content heading to Battlefront players in the form of in-game events, Hutt contracts, "surprises" and a special Star Wars Day event on May 4th.

As per EA's description:

  • New In-Game Events – more double score weekends, community missions and Special Login Events are coming for players to earn more experience, credits and items.
  • New Hutt Contracts – Unlock powerful Star Cards like the Berserker Trait, Bacta Bomb and Ion Neutralizer.
  • More New Content – We also have a couple of surprises in store that we know our fans have been looking for, especially those who have been clamoring for ways to have more options to enjoy Star WarsBattlefront offline. More to come soon.
  • Specific for May the 4th – In celebration of Star Wars Day we have cool activities planned that we’ll announce soon.

In addition to that, EA has confirmed that there will be a total of eight heroes made available through the Season Pass, including Nien Nunb and Greedo (which leaves us six heroes to look forward to). From here on out, two new hereos will be made available per paid DLC.

In June, Battlefront players can look forward to the Bespin DLC that will bring four new maps for the "most popular" game modes, detailing that "You’ll see AT-ATs in Cloud City, take to the skies in Fighter Squadron, and even spend time in a carbonite chamber." The Bespin DLC will also include more blasters, Star Cards, a new game mode and two new heroes: Lando Calrissian and Dengar.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes Review

The most divisive Zelda game ever released bar-none, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes brings something other than your typical Zelda story. If you enjoyed the multiplayer of Four Swords, then this is your jam… with a few caveats.

Make friends. Join a forum or turn to social media if you have to, but make friends with people that have strong online connections. If you yourself don't have a strong internet connection, then get a better one or don't even play because you won't enjoy this game and you will ruin the experience for everyone you come into contact with.

Aside from that, Tri Force Heroes is a rock solid multiplayer-only game. (There's a single player option but it is not humanly feasible to beat it.) You'll enjoy an entertaining story, get to dress in tons of so-dumb-they're-funny outfits, and hunt for treasure in your pursuit of the ultimate fashion statement.

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Each Final Fantasy 7 Remake episode will be as large as one Final Fantasy 13 game

More details about the upcoming episodic Final Fantasy 7 Remake were revealed in the latest issue of Game Informer. We've known for a while now that each episode will be as large as a full scale game, but we now have a bit more clarity on how Square Enix is going about that. According to the game's Producer, Yoshinori Kitase, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake will use the Final Fantasy XIII series as a blueprint for how the company will release each installment.

Said Kitase:

It will essentially be a full scale game for each part of the multi-part series. In XIII, each installment told the story from a different angle. It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory in a sense.

 

Whereas with Final Fantasy VII Remake, we already have a preexisting story, so it wouldn't really make sense if that isn't encompassed in a multi-part series… So if we're just looking at each of these parts, one part should be on par with the scale of one Final Fantasy XIII game.

There's still no word on how many episodes we will see, but given that the company is leaning on the Final Fantasy XIII formula, it stands to reason that this could very well be a trilogy. After all trilogies aren't exactly unheard of these days.

 

It's also reasonable that we aren't likely to get the first episode anytime soon, as all that's really confirmed is that the first scenario of the the first episode is complete and that the game will either be an explorable sand box or open world.

 

In any event, 2016 is going to be the year of Final Fantasy XV, the latest main entry in the series and a "theme park" attraction as described by Game Director, Hajime Tabata.

 

 

Darkest Dungeon delayed on PS4 and Vita

Darkest Dungeon, one of the most popular and successful Early Access titles there has ever been, will be delaying its console version for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. The PlayStation ports will now release in late July/Early August. Developer Red Hook Studios announced the news in a post on their official forum today. 

We have previously announced Late Spring/Early Summer as a target for PS4 and Vita release. With the adjustment of schedules and matching up with potential future events we are now targeting late July or August. We want to make sure that all of the Town Event contents we are working on now are solid for inclusion into the console release, as well as making sure it runs like butter and plays well with a controller. Adjusting controls, in particular, is not a quick process.  We have a level of quality that we want to ensure in all of our releases and we would rather take some extra time to make it right, rather than rush it out the door. The awesome and talented Sickhead Games has been helping us with the porting.

 

We remain incredibly excited to bring the game to PS4 and Vita, and we have seen such enthusiasm from the community, as well. Sony has been a fantastic partner to work with, and we can’t wait to make a big Summer splash with the game!

Darkest Dungeon officially left Early Access at the beginning of 2016 and was one of our favorite games from the month of January. 

 

Darkest Dungeon is not a game for the faint of heart as you will get your butt thoroughly kicked time and time again. Fortunately, there is an immense amount of satisfaction that comes from successful dungeon runs so there is a certain sadistic addictiveness that comes with playing the game.

 

Source: [Darkest Dungeon Official Website]

True Detective S2/Ep 7 "Black Maps and Motel Rooms" Review & Recap

Before we begin, let it be known that HBO's president of programming, Michael Lombardo, publicly stood by this show earlier in the week. “I think you need to watch the entirety of it,” Lombardo stated. “I think the season’s ending is as satisfying as any series we’ve done.” Unfortunately, I think this vote of confidence comes too little, too late for frustrated viewers and critics. 

 

This week's episode began with a Ani, Ray and Paul at a seedy motel recouperating after their great escape from Toni Chessani's rich man's orgy. Bezzerides is fighting off some serious emotions and drugs. She is reminiscing about killing the security guard at the party doting that "I've been waiting my whole life for that." Her putrid state of doubt and confusion would be the perfect moment to try to tie up that sexual tension between her and Ray Velcoro. He turns her down, and she blames it on the drugs and brushes it aside. Paul receives a text from an unknown number, with blackmail pictures featuring Paul and his male lover together, and later demands a secret meeting. All the while their missing person-turned-prostitute is sleeping off the drugs in the other room. Talk about a drama dump. All of this goes down in the first six minutes. It becomes clear that the three need to go into hiding and so does everyone they love. Paul puts his crazy mother and his pregnant fiancé in a hotel, and Ani ships her father and sister off with her old partner there to follow and make sure that they're all right. 

 

 

It's a genuine corpse parade after that. State Attorney Davis is found dead in her car with a gunshot to the abdomen when Ray goes to meet her to reveal what they've found. And it was seemingly with his own gun. 

 

Vince Vaughn is the only reason I am still watching this show. I never thought I could picture Vince Vaughn metaphorically riding in on a white horse to save the day. Then again, I never thought I'd be seven episodes into an HBO program and disliking it this much. In a solo act of redemption, the scene in which Frank tortures and kills Blake for information is the saving grace for this episode. With one handgun blast to the stomach and a monologue of menace over a writhing body, Frank extracts his revenge and an exit plan. I truly feel as though this man is backed into a corner and is a big enough badass to get himself out. Frank makes some moves to get his woman and get out of town once he steals a nice chunk of change from the Russians, who have just purchased the liens to his clubs. He doesn't do this without making sure both properties are burnt to the ground first.

 

 

Meanwhile, Ani and Ray have to go into hiding together because they are fugitives, clearly bunking together because, why not? They share an awkward makeout scene that I'm pretty sure no one really cared about. If I wanted to watch two exceptionally damaged people go at it, I would have tuned in to late night programming. Amidst their bunking together, we find out that with the overload of information we have received this season, it is in fact the blue diamonds that are the link. On top of this, we also discover that it is Caspeare's assistant, Erica Johnson, whose real name is Laura. She was pictured beside her brother in last episode's riot reveal. Viola. She was one of the orphaned L.A Riot children, in Vinci, with the blue diamonds or a candlestick, who knows there's another episode the whole thing might be one big MacGuffin at this point. It's also now revealed that Caspeare's death was a revenge. He was killed by the son of two shop owners who were murdered during the riots. 

 

Who are we forgetting? Oh, Paul.  Paul meets up with Miguel in an exchange that shows us that Catalyst wants the heads of Ani, Ray and Paul on a platter. This leads to a deadly underground shoot out that Paul escapes, showing some Jack Bauer-esque moves in the process. As he Shawshank Redemption-style walks through the door, he's shot by Lieutenant Burris. This man just Rambo'd an entire team of mercenaries and then is thwarted by a guy with a handgun hidden behind a door. Color me confused. Is this just a rehash of earlier on when Ray got blasted in the chest? I know I'm not the only one whose patience is being tried and the cheap thrills tactic is not going to work anymore. 

Gears of War Ultimate Edition Review

Almost nine years since the release of the original Gears of War in November of 2006, Microsoft has released the Gears of War Ultimate Edition exclusively for Xbox One. Being that this was the first time I've ever played Gears before in my life, I have to say after five minutes of playing I was pissed off. Not at the game of course, but at myself for some reason never playing any of the Gears series before. Before I fired up the Ultimate Edition, I went and grabbed a copy of the original for my 360 at the local Fun & Games for $3.99. After all, I needed something to compare it  to. As my luck would have it the disc was broken so I was S.O.L. As a result I jumped right in, chose Insane difficulty and hoped for the best.

The original story of Marcus Fenix being freed by his buddies from prison after a decade and a half to help eliminate the force of the Locust from the planet Sera is still in tact. Marcus, along with Dom, Baird and Cole (who may be the best character ever) make their way through five levels each with six chapters. In addition to the orginal levels in the game, five new levels have been added which are the ones from the PC release that were missing on the original Xbox 360 version. The intelligence of the A.I. is immediately evident. On the game's easiest level they are rather mundane as they stand out in the open and rarely shoot making themselves easy targets. When you ramp up the difficulty to insane, or even right below it on hardcore, that all changes. Every enemy makes use of cover, they use teamwork to flank you while forcing you to constantly change your location and strategy. Even popping out of cover to shoot only allows you one to two seconds before you're inundated with bullets and have to pop back in.

Added to the strategy needed in Gears of War Ultimate Edition is the damage that the enemies can take. While using my Lancer assault rifle, I found it took about two thirds of a loaded magazine to kill an enemy. Combine that with the fact that they just never stop moving and it became very difficult. I found the Insane level was aptly named within several short minutes. Always an intricate discussion in remasters is graphical enhancements and attention to detail. The chainsaw attachment to the Lancer rifle, although incredibly bad ass, was also ridiculously detailed. Even in the early parts of the game as I was trying to escape the darkened hallways of the prison, I could still see the chainsaw itself moving and operating rather than just simply hearing the telltale noise it makes. Even better with the weapons' detail was the locust pistol you are able to obtain from any of the dead scattered among the ground. It's a single shot, slow reloading pistol but much more powerful than your stock pistol you begin the game with. With each round you fire, you don't simply see the round exit the gun in a ball of fire. You can actually see the gun cycle and reload with each round fired.

Sunlight and shadows play a major role in the game as well. A couple times I found myself walking around a corner and only knew an enemy was there because there shadow was reflected on a column nearby. They are easy to miss as they are after all in darkened prison hallways, but you can still see them clearly and they definitely help in Insane level as you are trying to plan your next move. As the game goes on, you go through multiple levels like a mine cart, Marcus' home, prison etc both inside and outside. Out in the sun is where Gears of War really shines (no pun intended). During lulls of the action, I stopped several times to adjust the camera and see how the lighting panned out on the environment. The sun coming through the clouds lets you see its individual rays and the buildings hit by the sun reflect your shadows just as they would if you were walking down the city street on a beatiful, Sunday afternoon. Simply moving your character while looking at your shadow see it react as it would normally. These little details added a sense of immersion into the game that isn't oft seen in many shooters as they tend to focus more on framerate and enemy action than graphical quality. Visually, Gears of War Ultimate Edition is one of the best looking games on Xbox One.

From the moment­-centric in game music to as close to real life voice acting you can get without a rated R game, Gears of War Ultimate Edition's campaign takes a minor story and makes it into something more than it is with the help of emotion and immersion.

There weren't too many people on the multiplayer servers unsurprisingly, but we were able to check it out with a couple colleagues. We didn't experience any hiccups fortunately as the game is running on dedicated servers with extremely little traffic. At first glance, there are 19 maps that we can use with all the PC exclusive maps integrated in as well. Skins for Gears of War 3 characters are unlockable as you progress in various modes along with new control schemes specifically aimed at tournaments.

How did the game as a whole stand up to the original? Let's See

** Necessary Disclosure ** I've never played a single second of Gears of War, any of them, in my entire life prior to this Ultimate Edition.

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The Flash 'The Fury of Firestorm' Review

Things are starting to heat up in The Flash. I mean this quite literally. In an episode dedicated to everything Firestorm we learned a monumental amount about the character and how exactly the merger of two super-charged molecular beings can create a mammoth of a superhero.

Most of this season we have seen Professor Stein in pretty bad shape. After the atomic blast that hit Central City, and the death of Ronnie, he has been struggling to keep his powers harnessed due to the need for a second being to share them. This week was the search for possible candidates to perform the merge with. After a bit of research, the team at S.T.A.R LABS discovers that there are two potential matches. One of which is Dr. Henry Hewitt. Hewitt is a scientist who is of equal intelligence of Professor Stein, and a huge fan of Stein’s works. For those of you who are not in the know of comics, Hewitt is the guy that eventually becomes Tokamak. The other is Jefferson “Jax” Jackson. Jax is a meta-human who had aspirations of being a college football player, but was hit by the particle accelerator blast, thus ending all of his dreams to attend college on a scholarship. The chip on his shoulder because of the incident is totally understandable. The team approaches both and decides to attempt the merge with Hewitt after Jax denies the request, despite him being the better match.

Caitlin Snow decided to take it upon herself to implement her will on everyone as to who the new Firestorm should be. She’s so forceful with Jax that he walks out of S.T.A.R labs. I get it, your husband was the last one and he was killed. There’s some serious shoes to fill here. However, her need to be right becomes a bit of a problem when the merge with Stein and Hewitt fails. Hewitt later in his own labs becomes a super human and you can see the switch into mega evil as he starts charging up his electric powers and begins to hunt Caitlyn down. Coincidentally, he finds her when she’s apologizing to Jax, and before Hewitt can harm them, Jax throws car parts at him giving Caitlin and Jax time to escape to S.T.A.R labs.

I was a little confused that Jax went so willingly with Caitlin considering a meta-human just tried to murder them while he was screaming “this isn’t what you promised.” Maybe it was the sight of Professor Stein on what looks like a death bed that swayed his decision to merge. When they do, it is a glorious sight to behold. Flames, flight, dual personality, the whole works. Almost immediately after the first merge, Hewitt starts attacking the football field where Jax got hit by the blast, a little ironic. Hewitt uses the stadium lights to charge up his energy while Barry Allen as the Flash and now Jax/Stein as Firestorm rush to save the day.

This battle was really cool. It’s discovered that Hewitt is an egotistical maniac with anger issues. Now knowing this the team discovers that the angrier he gets, the more powerful he gets. They use this as a weapon to get him so fired up that he implodes. At the stadium we get to see Firestorm in action. He’s a little wobbly at first when he gets hit by an electric blast from Hewitt, but regains his composure with the help of the omnipresent voice of Professor Stein. I want a brilliant professor subconscious, that would be pretty fantastic. The team takes Tokamak down and goes on to see another day, with the addition of an awesome new character.

There were a lot of differences in this episode in comparison to others. Barry Allen wasn’t really featured a lot throughout this episode. I really like this dynamic because it proves that the other characters are written strongly enough to hold their own. That being said, there are some plot arcs here that I’m not really feeling. The whole relationship between Barry and Patty is beginning to get old. How much awkward flirting can one really do before someone makes a move? In this episode Patty asks Barry for help on a case that she’s looking into about a half shark, meta-human cyborg. Barry agrees to run some tests on a bag of shark teeth she hands him, and they both decide such a thing couldn’t be real. Oh boy, were they wrong.  Barry was looking for Patty to make a move after a pep talk from Joe and sees her in a coffee shop across the street. The episode ended with the mammoth shark grabbing The Flash.  and is there in time to use her gun to shoot the shark, which has zero effect. OH MY GOD IT’S KING SHARK! The two are saved by a shot dealt from no else than Harrison Wells.

What is going on with Harrison Wells? I need to know! This show keeps throwing his face on the screen for five second clips and it’s the biggest tease in comic show history. Hopefully now because Barry knows his identity, that we can delve more into why he’s back and what he’s doing here.

Another side plot is that Iris’ mother Francine is back. She tells Joe that she’s dying from MacGregor’s disease and she wants Iris back in her life for her final years. Iris’ denies her and discovers through Investigative journalism that she has a bother that she never knew about. WHO COULD IT BE?

This week was a pretty solid episode. There were fantastic cameos and highlighting to characters that prove the depth and awesomeness of this show. This episode was also crucial for setting up Legends of Tomorrow by introducing Jax. He’s the guy to keep an eye out for in the new show, and he looks absolutely awesome. Cisco is having some inner battles about his relatively new discovery of powers. Stein gives him an adorable pep talk about how he can use them for good and that he should embrace them and tell his friends. That whole speech was comic book gold and adorable. Next week is going to be interesting and I can’t wait.

Fun Fact: This episode title was taken from multiple series of Firestorm comics.

The Division’s Incursion trailer shows new activities and gear

Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 12, The Division’s first major update will roll out, bringing with it a smattering of new equipment, crafting changes and missions, along with Falcon Lost, the game’s first four-man incursion.

To celebrate the release of update 1.1, Ubisoft today released a new trailer showcasing the strategic demands of incursions and some of the equipment coming in the update.

Falcon Lost is set in an underground water treatment facility caught in a tug-of-war between survivors and anarchists. Completing Falcon Lost on hard or challenge mode will yield unique and powerful equipment, on top of a weekly reward package.

Incursions are The Division’s answer to raids and represent the pinnacle of the game’s PvE challenges. It seems each new incursion will introduce unique gear sets and exotic weapons which can only be obtained therein.

Source: Ubisoft

Super Mario Maker Review

Nintendo is certainly no stranger to games where the creativity is left up to ther player. Dating all the way back to 1992, Mario Paint gave gamers the freedom of creativity to create artwork, music, and even animations with the Super Nintendo. That's right, Nintendo's 16-bit machine was already powerful enough to do that sort of thing. This do-it-yourself approach was later seen in WarioWare DIY, a game where player's imaginations could run wild and create their own micro-games, allowing the creation of everything from the artwork, animations and even sounds.

Super Mario Maker, however, is a different beast altogether. This time, you're actively taking part in creating what is easily Nintendo's best selling genre; 2D Mario Platformers. Granted, it's not the first game to allow unfettered creativity in 2D platforming, as Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet certainly accomplished the same thing and quite possibly with much more customization back in 2008. However this time you're creating an actual Mario game, not a Mario clone. That means you not only get the top notch level design tools that make Mario platforming so great, but you also get the amazing Mario physics.

It's a game that opens up over time with more and more tools, letting you build levels that you've previously experienced in past Mario games, or make up something totally unique. It's one of those instances where I found myself asking, "Is it really this easy?" Granted, I know that there's a lot more when it comes to creating a game, and Nintendo really put all the tools together in an easy to use package, that allows you to construct pretty much anything with just the help of your stylus. Whether it's a straightforward level like 1-1, or an auto-scrolling level with falling platforms, pitfalls, flying Goombas and Bullet Bills whizzing past at every jump.

It's a nearly endless Mario experience when you think about it considering you not only have your own creativity to go by, but the rest of the world's as well. You can download any level that was shared by any other player, giving you an endless supply of levels, provided the community stays strong. But this is Mario we're talking about, and judging from what I've already experienced during the review period, I can't wait to see what the rest of the world will come up with.

So let's look at what Nintendo did right, what wasn't very good, and what our final verdict is.

The Positives / The Negatives

The Verdict

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Comcast is raising its data cap limit to 1 TB

Here's a fun fact that should be a surprise to no one. That is, unless you work in the corporate offices of Comcast apparently. 300 gigabytes is really REALLY easy to burn through. Between streaming Netflix in 1080p to downloading (and updating) gigabytes worth of digital games on Steam, Xbox Live or PSN (or all of them if you're lucky), your data cap will be bone dry before you even hit the 15th of the month.

Finally, after enough customer feedback, the Internet Serice Provider has agreed to increase their data cap limits (which are currently applicable in only select trial markets) from 300 GBs to 1 TB. This is surely most welcome news, especially for customers who have opted in for Unlimited Data at an extra $30.

Consumer Services Executive Vice President, Marcien Jenckes said:

"Our typical customer uses only about 60 gigabytes of data in a month – that’s far less than a terabyte (in fact, 940 gigabytes less), or less than six percent of a terabyte.

We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online. So, we have created a new data plan that is so high that most of our customers will never have to think about how much data they use."

No doubt 1 TB is much better than only 300 GB, but I have to think that as we gradually move over towards more media that is native to 4K resolution, we will be revisiting the data cap issue in the very near future.

Source: [Comcast Corporate]