Thursday, 14 December 2017

'WWE Mayhem' is Like the 'Marvel Contest of Champions' of Wrestling Games, Available Now

The WWE has been raking it in on the App Store with their stable of casual, free to play games aimed at wrestling fans. Games like WWE Champions [Free], WWE Tap Mania [Free], and WWE Supercard [Free] allow us to collect all of the over-the-top characters us wrestling fans love by way of breezy, casual gameplay that's well-suited for mobile. These games certainly aren't for everyone but it's hard to deny just how successful they've been. Today the WWE stable of mobile games increases by one with the release of WWE Mayhem [Free], which was created in partnership with Reliance Games. This is a casual fighting game in a similar vein to Kabam's Marvel Contest of Champions [Free] or NetherRealm's Injustice 2 . Here's the trailer for WWE Mayhem so you can see it in action.

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You might be thinking, "Hey didn't WWE already release a swipe fighter?" and you would be correct. WWE Immortals [Free] has been kicking and punching on the App Store for nearly 3 years now, and based on its update frequency I don't see it going anywhere. WWE Mayhem, while being a very similar type of game, definitely plays differently than WWE Immortals and also features more "grounded" versions of its WWE Superstars.
One thing that kind of turned me off to WWE Immortals was how its characters were these strange fantasy spin-off versions, which sometimes could result in something cool but more often than not was just sort of silly. WWE Mayhem may feature extremely stylized and over-the-top (even more so than the real-life versions) characters, but at least they're mostly faithful to the actual real-world superstars. There are sure to be fans of both games, and I definitely think there's room for both to coexist.

As for WWE Mayhem specifically, I've played around with it for a bit and I actually really like it. You're probably familiar with the basics: tap to throw light attacks, swipe to throw heavy attacks or dash back and forth, hold the screen to block, and fill up a 3-segment special meter to performa a variety of special moves with the tap of a button. It's definitely standard stuff, but the fighting feels pretty tight and there are a couple of neat twists that spice up the formula and make it feel more like wrestling.
One is that you'll need to pin your opponent when you've depleted their health bar, and this is accomplished with a quick-reaction mini-game that has you tapping at just the right moment as a meter moves back and forth quite like how you'd set your swing strength in an old-school golf game. It's a minor thing, but it actually brings a bit of excitement when you need to be on your toes and be able to tap at the right time, and if you don't your opponent gets up and you're right back in the fight. Another neat feature in WWE Mayhem is the reversal system, which really is just tapping a button when prompted if your special meter is full enough but it does add a wrinkle to the strategy and can save you from getting blasted with your opponent's special move. Here's a quick video of what reversals are like in action.

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One thing to mention is that, surprising absolutely no one, WWE Mayhem is very very free to play. That means an energy system, multiple in-game currencies, a gacha system for unlocking characters, and a resource-grind for upgrading any of those characters. It's got it all! That said, I think most people have learned by now how to enjoy these free to play games for what they are, playing for a few moments throughout the day and rarely spending any money while a very tiny group of people go on and spend loads of money to subsidize everyone else playing. That's just how it goes nowadays!
Besides the pretty standard story campaign and multiplayer modes, WWE Mayhem will also host live in-game events during their live WWE programming. I'm pretty interested to see how that will work, and a similar thing made Madden NFL Football [Free] a massive hit with fans as something to do during commercial breaks while watching their teams play. WWE's next live event is the Clash of Champions pay-per-view this Sunday and there's already advertisement in-game for a special live event going down during the show. I'll probably be watching the event anyway so I'll be sure to check out how the in-game event goes.

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As you might know I've been a big fan of these swipe fighters for years now, and while I always eventually get to a point where the free to play grind does me in and I delete the game I certainly enjoy my time with them up until that point. I recently got out of playing Injustice 2 as it got to the point where it felt like a daily chore more than a fun distraction, so I'm actually in the market for a new free to play fighter to spend my time with. I'm also a huge WWE fan so WWE Mayhem is pushing all the right buttons for me right now. If you've enjoyed any of the previously mentioned swipe fighters then I'd suggest giving WWE Mayhem a download for free and giving it a spin, even if you're not a big WWE fan. If you do try it out or are just interested in hearing what others think, be sure to stop by the game's forum thread for some discussion.



GDC Speaker Q& A: Ubisoft devs discuss the development of For Honor

Ubisoft's Damien Kieken and Roman Campos will be at GDC 2018 to present the talk 'For Honor':From a Great Launch to a Challenging Live Period. ...



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Disney acquires the bulk of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

The agreement gives Disney 21st Century Fox's film and television businesses, as well as its 30 percent stake in Hulu. ...



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VNI Fleet Timer Skirmish in Fade

Once more into space went our VNI fleet, undocking for another foray into harms ways.

VNIs undock once more

Another Astrahus timer was set to expire where we were the other night, DW-T2I in Fade.

The op had been announced well in advance so I was ready and resupplied.  I even had a new SKIN for the VNI, having had SKINs on the mind with the advent of the CCP Blaze memorial SKIN set, which I also picked up.

A fresh SKIN on the VNI

The Glacial Drift SKIN was readily available in Jita for a reasonable price, so I grabbed that for the op.

As these things go, we got ourselves together and out on the titan to wait for our ride into the fight.

Taking up a collection to buy that Erebus a SKIN

One more trip into the POS shields.  Some day… maybe even some day soon… that will no longer be a thing in New Eden.  There aren’t many roles left for the good old POS, aside from hiding titans and anchoring jump bridges.

We waited a bit, but the call to take the bridge came as the blue effect swirled about the POS.  We jumped, landing on the Astrahus in DW-T2I.

The Cyno burns bright

We were there just in time as the counter ticked down to the appointed hour.

Citadel vulnerable in 1 second

The enemy had not yet appeared as the timer rolled over and the repair cycle began, but that situation did not last for long.  Soon Pandemic Horde dropped just off the citadel with the expected Tempest Fleet.

There they are on the overview

As they had previously, they came with an Apostle force auxiliary for reps.

Apostle on grid with the Astrahus

In addition they had reinforcements from their allies Guardians of the Galaxy coalition in the form of a Cerberus fleet.

We had a bit of support of our own, which arrived as the fight kicked off.  Asher set us up to hit the Tempest fleet first and we were able to pick off some choice targets almost immediately, including a pair of Basilisks, a Vulture, a Tengu, and a Cerberus that strayed too close to us.

However, they managed to get webs on Asher long enough to slow him down and pop him, which put us off our stride.  We went to a secondary anchor, shot a few Tempests, and then had to warp off as our drones we getting shredded.  Along the way I was red boxed by the Tempest fleet, but speed and our logi support saved me.

Meanwhile, a Jackdaw fleet that had flown up from Delve joined in the fray.  Also present were some bombers from The Initiative who were fresh off their server first Guristas Sotiyo kill.  After waiting out our aggression timer on at a safe, we docked up in the Astrahus to swap fresh drones into our drone bays from cargo.  Asher meanwhile had reshipped and rejoined us, leading us back on grid to the fight.

Tempest fleet in the new warp bubble effect

For this round we stayed at the edge of lock range in an effort to avoid getting webbed again.  Our survivability depends on keeping our speed up to avoid being hit by the battleship guns.  That made our ability to engage a bit dodgy as our drones had a long way to go and the Cerberus fleet, or target for this round, hove in and out of lock range.

A Cerberus caught by our drones about to explode

A number of times we would get drones on a Cerb only to have it move out of range, though our drones would keep attacking.  During that engagement I managed to get the kill mail on one of the Cerbs.  It was pure luck, as these things tend to be in fleets over a certain size, but it did give me a third kill mark on my VNI.

Those tiny white triangles on the upper hull, just in the blue, are kill marks

We kept at it and were able to take down a string of Cerbs though, once again our drones were getting chopped up.  A smart bombing Machariel was in their midst, taking its toll.  I lost my full second flight of heavy drones and towards the end had only my two backup heavies engaged.

We were not able to do much versus the Tempest fleet at that point, and they kept on hitting the Astrahus, eventually winning the timer.  That advanced the assault on the citadel to the final round, the fight to destroy it, which initiates six days hence.

The six day count down to the final fight

At that point the main event was over.  We docked up in the citadel again to move whatever drones we had left in cargo over to our drone bays.  That meant some sentry drones for me.  The hostiles hung around a bit then started to warp off.  However, a few of them were too close to the structure model and ended up bumping it while trying to align out.  A Sabre of ours outside the Astrahus, waiting for just such an opportunity, put up a bubble to hold them and we all poured out of the citadel, launched our reaming drones, and picked off the stragglers.

The Astrahus bubbled to catch the unfortunates

That netted us a couple more Cerbs, a Loki, and a Scimitar to finish off the evening.  Then people began to  loot the field then pop wrecks to keep the enemy from picking over the remains.  A daring Ibis and a Catalyst warped in and out looting and salvaging, staying just out of our reach.

I moved back to pick up my sentry drones and waited for the trip back to our staging.

Motoring back to my drones

So the fight was a bit of a split decision.  The enemy achieved their objective and sent the citadel into its final timer.  However, the results of the battle show the ISK war coming out very much in our favor in a fight where we were, once again, out numbered.  We lost about 6.6 billion ISK while blowing up more than 13 billion ISK in hostiles.

As I hung about waiting for the run back to staging I managed to catch a screen shot with an ad running on the Astrahus that seemed amusing.

Fly to Live, Live to Fight

My ship lived to fly another day.  We shall see if the VNIs undock again for another fight.



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The struggle to make sci-fi space colonies feel grounded in Aven Colony

Mothership's Paul Tozour opens up a bit about how, through specific design and writing choices, the studio tried to make its sci-fi space colony management sim feel human and grounded. ...



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Adventure Time is getting an open-world pirate game early next year

Bandai Namco and Outright Games have announced Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion, a new open-world pirate adventure based on the cult Cartoon Network show.

"The Land of Ooo is underwater," we're told, "and it's up to Finn and Jake to find out why.  Join our heroes as they explore dangerous waters, search for clues, interrogate pirates and fight bad guys to solve this wet, wet mystery and save the day!"

You'll be able to roam the waterlogged Land of Ooo freely in your vessel, sailing the seas to reach distant kingdoms, and plundering for loot as Finn, Jake, BMO, Marceline, and other fan-favourite characters. "Upgrade your heroes, use items, spells, potions and unique ultimate hero abilities," says Bandai Namco, "to battle bad guys in fast-paced tactical combat."

Read more…



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Blog: How I made a Game Boy game in 2017

What does it take to release a new game cartridge for the Game Boy in 2017? Here's my experience, with a lot of details on the tools I used and the challenges I faced. ...



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At GDC 2018, see how a diverse writers' room created the Life Is Strange prequel

At GDC 2018 Deck Nine Games narrative director Zak Garriss will be delivering a talk on how the team adapted a TV writers' room approach to create Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. ...



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Blog: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Can an old dog learn new tricks?

Animal Crossing introduced appointment mechanics and short session gameplay to the mainstream over a decade ago. So what can the grandfather of simulation games teach us about game design? ...



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Dig into the classic Unreal engine with Ubisoft's David Lightbown at 3PM EST

Ubisoft Technology Group UX director David Lightbown will be leading us on a magical journey through the history of Unreal Engine. ...



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'Hearthstone' Winter Veil Celebration Begins Dec. 17th

Winter is coming to Hearthstone [Free] everyone, so better get warm and cozy. Just like every year, Blizzard is bringing the Winter Veil celebration to Hearthstone, along with all kinds of fun little features. Winter Veil, which will run from December 17th until December 30th, will cover the game in Winter's Veil-themed boards for Orgrimmar and Stormwind and will add seasonal emotes so you can "spread some cheer" to your opponents (or mock them relentlessly in a happy, cheery tone). In addition to the boards and emotes, from December 20th to the 24th a special Tavern Brawl called Wacky Waxy Winter's Veil will await for you, and you will get up to three Knights of the Frozen Throne card packs, if you (literally) play your cards right. As you can guess from the title of the brawl, candles will play a significant role.

The Winter's Veil celebration is always a fun one, and if this is your first Christmas playing Hearthstone, you're in for a fun treat. In the meantime, don't forget to check out this week's Tavern Brawl, a repeat of Valeera's Bag of Burgled Spells, an RNG-heavy Tavern Brawl where your spells summon a random minion of the same mana cost. It's a fun, quick Tavern Brawl, so go check it out.



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Free Week - H1Z1

Play H1Z1 for FREE starting now through Thursday at 10AM Pacific. You can also pickup H1Z1 at 75% off the regular price!*

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play H1Z1. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

*Offer ends January 4th at 10AM Pacific


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Free Weekend - Homefront®: The Revolution. Plus, Get The Original Homefront Free For 24 Hours

Play Homefront®: The Revolution for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Homefront®: The Revolution at 75% off the regular price!*

You can also get a free copy of the original Homefront to keep forever! Offer valid until Friday 10AM Pacific Time

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Homefront®: The Revolution. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time


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Weekend Deal - Ultimate Chicken Horse, 40% Off

Save 40% on Ultimate Chicken Horse as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time


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Daily Deal - Tacoma, 50% Off

Today's Deal: Save 50% on Tacoma!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Saturday at 10AM Pacific Time


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Coming Home For A Night in the Woods (And Its Weird Autumn Edition)

nitw1.jpg
Night in the Woods is a game about many things, but for me, it is all about coming back home. Mae Borowski, college dropout, returns to her hometown of Possum Springs, to find that life has just moved on without her.

The sheer weirdness of this feeling might be familiar to you if you ever experienced something similar. You return and it both feels like everything's still kind of the same and yet, everyone moved on without you. Your home and friends have changed and hell, so have you. You're on the outside, looking in.

There is some pain involved in this process. You don't just drop out of college all of a sudden, and there are allusions to some kind of incident which happened before Mae left town. Just like in real life, bad things happen to people and leave a mark, and many of the game's characters are struggling with their own issues.

Besides, Possum Springs is certainly not what it once was, ever since the coal mines closed down. And let's not forget that there is something out there in the woods...

There's a lighthearted playfulness to the game that lets you forget its dark undertones every so often. Whether you explore Possum Springs by way of its overhead telephone lines, raise a bunch of little rats you found, play a round of Demon Tower (a full game-within-the game!), go to band practice, or talk to that weird homeless guy outside the church grounds - apparently, Night in the Woods captures that midwestern smalltown vibe quite perfectly, and Possum Springs feels like an actual place.

Serious subject matter and obvious silliness exist side by side - and, much to the game's credit, this doesn't feel weird at all. Oh hey, and everyone's an animal for some reason, did I mention that?

The Weird Autumn edition, which is basically a free upgrade, adds some extra scenes and fun stuff to discover, as well as the two "short stories" Longest Night and Lost Constellation, to the game. (You can also play the latter for free here.)

nitw2.jpg

There are so many more things I could rave about: the incredible, naturalistic writing, the wonderfully flawed, loveable characters, the best parents you'll ever meet in a game, or Alec Holowka's mindblowingly perfect music. I won't do that, because that's for you to discover. In the end, only one thing counts for me: this is it. This weird narrative mystery game about coming home and family and friendship and hardship and crimes is my favorite videogame of the year.

I generally don't remember most games I've played ten years ago. Few videogame characters stand out to me after all this time. And yet, I am sure that in ten years' time, I'll still remember Mae, Gregg, Angus, and Bea. Replaying Night in the Woods will always feel a bit like coming home.

You can purchase Night in the Woods from itch.io, GOG, and Steam for $19.99. There are also PS4 and Xbox One versions available on their respective marketplaces. For more information, visit the game's website or follow developers Bethany Hockenberry, Alec Holowka, and Scott Benson on Twitter.



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Coming Home For A Night in the Woods (And Its Weird Autumn Edition)

nitw1.jpg
Night in the Woods is a game about many things, but for me, it is all about coming back home. Mae Borowski, college dropout, returns to her hometown of Possum Springs, to find that life has just moved on without her.

The sheer weirdness of this feeling might be familiar to you if you ever experienced something similar. You return and it both feels like everything's still kind of the same and yet, everyone moved on without you. Your home and friends have changed and hell, so have you. You're on the outside, looking in.

There is some pain involved in this process. You don't just drop out of college all of a sudden, and there are allusions to some kind of incident which happened before Mae left town. Just like in real life, bad things happen to people and leave a mark, and many of the game's characters are struggling with their own issues.

Besides, Possum Springs is certainly not what it once was, ever since the coal mines closed down. And let's not forget that there is something out there in the woods...

There's a lighthearted playfulness to the game that lets you forget its dark undertones every so often. Whether you explore Possum Springs by way of its overhead telephone lines, raise a bunch of little rats you found, play a round of Demon Tower (a full game-within-the game!), go to band practice, or talk to that weird homeless guy outside the church grounds - apparently, Night in the Woods captures that midwestern smalltown vibe quite perfectly, and Possum Springs feels like an actual place.

Serious subject matter and obvious silliness exist side by side - and, much to the game's credit, this doesn't feel weird at all. Oh hey, and everyone's an animal for some reason, did I mention that?

The Weird Autumn edition, which is basically a free upgrade, adds some extra scenes and fun stuff to discover, as well as the two "short stories" Longest Night and Lost Constellation, to the game. (You can also play the latter for free here.)

nitw2.jpg

There are so many more things I could rave about: the incredible, naturalistic writing, the wonderfully flawed, loveable characters, the best parents you'll ever meet in a game, or Alec Holowka's mindblowingly perfect music. I won't do that, because that's for you to discover. In the end, only one thing counts for me: this is it. This weird narrative mystery game about coming home and family and friendship and hardship and crimes is my favorite videogame of the year.

I generally don't remember most games I've played ten years ago. Few videogame characters stand out to me after all this time. And yet, I am sure that in ten years' time, I'll still remember Mae, Gregg, Angus, and Bea. Replaying Night in the Woods will always feel a bit like coming home.

You can purchase Night in the Woods from itch.io, GOG, and Steam for $19.99. There are also PS4 and Xbox One versions available on their respective marketplaces. For more information, visit the game's website or follow developers Bethany Hockenberry, Alec Holowka, and Scott Benson on Twitter.



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Now Available on Steam - Gorogoa, 20% off!

Gorogoa is Now Available on Steam and is 20% off!*

Gorogoa is an elegant evolution of the puzzle genre, told through a beautifully hand-drawn story designed and illustrated by Jason Roberts.

*Offer ends December 21 at 10AM Pacific Time


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New Mixer App Is Now Available

Jerome Holman, Senior Program Manager on Mixer Mobile Apps, discusses the new Mixer App, available today.

Just months ago, we announced we were rebuilding the Mixer app for Android and iOS. Since then and with the help of our community, we’ve built the best version of the app to-date, and are excited to announce it’s available for download today on Android and in the coming days on iOS.

Complete with a new code base to enable faster updates than ever before, we’ve redesigned the new app pixel-by-pixel to offer a more consistent Mixer experience across devices. From beta through to launch, we’ve focused on improved discoverability, new personalization options, and Mixer interactivity. You’ll notice this new functionality, designed to immerse you in your streamers’ experiences, wherever you are!

We’ve also added several new features: push notifications, tap-and-hold video previews, and an introductory first-run video to help you get acquainted with what’s new. With a Mixer experience optimized for mobile, stay connected with the streams you love.

Download the current version of iOS and the receive the new update soon!

Push Notifications: New notifications mean you’re always in the loop and connected at all times — especially when you’re on the go. Get notified when your favorite streamers go live. Follow your favorite streams directly from your phone or tablet.

Easier Navigation: Whether you’re looking for something new or something you’ve been watching for a while, new “Trending,” “Following,” and “Profile” tabs get you there quicker. Tap-and-hold on the home page to see a quick video preview. You’ll notice improved discoverability thanks to an enhanced search algorithm. The “Trending” tab now shows the top streams based on viewer count.

Enhanced Stream Page & Player settings: Tailor your viewing experience to fit your needs. Within the app, select your stream video quality, toggle through chat and audio, and easily share the stream you’re watching with friends.

In addition to the new features above, below is a refresher of all the great functionality we’ve improved upon during the beta period:

  • Featured streams at the top with auto previews
  • Trending Games spotlighted on your home page
  • Search history added below the search bar
  • A new Following tab, with LIVE and recommended streams
  • New indicators to help you easily find streams using Interactive, Co-streaming, and FTL
  • An improved Profile page with links to your channel, your level, and your sparks
  • Improved filtering for Trending broadcasts
  • Improved Chat complete with Viewer list, whispers, and basic mod featuresIn the new Mixer mobile app, you’ll sign-in with your Microsoft account. Learn how to create a Microsoft account here. Also to note, Apple has updated the app rating to 17+, which may impact iOS users.With thorough testing and tons of positive fan feedback, we’ve tweaked and tailored the Mixer mobile app just as you’ve requested. Here’s to the Mixer community for sharing thoughts on what a mobile streaming app means to you! Keep the feedback coming!

Welcome to Mixer. Streaming is better this way.



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