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Final Fantasy XV Chocobo Carnival is Back July 31, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I finally started playing Final Fantasy XV on the Xbox One and I couldn’t be happier to announce Square Enix has brought back the limited-time Chocobo Carnival event!

If you want to join the carnival, fire up your game console right now!  Players will need to install the latest Final Fantasy XV patch and the Free Holiday + DLC to participate in the carnival.  The event will take place from July 31st to September 2nd!

Final Fantasy XV is out now for the PS4 and Xbox One.


Gaming History You Should Know – The Super Mario Adventures Comic Series July 30, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Apologies for not resuming our regular schedule of Gaming History You Should Know since we returned from E3 2017, but I’m happy to announce we have started a backlog of new articles to get released every Sunday for the next month!  So with that housekeeping out of the way, what do you say we take a look at today’s feature?

Back in the early 90s, Nintendo ruled the gaming world with an iron fist and almost everyone my age had a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The console’s mascot, a red overall-wearing plumber named Mario, became an international legend, but most attempts to put Mario into mediums outside of his games have been met with disappointment. Well, except for one, the Super Mario Adventures Comic.

Super Mario Adventures was a comic series printed in the pages of Nintendo Power Magazine.  It was written as a serial, continuing the story with a new part each month.  However, unlike Mario’s outrageous film adaptation, the Super Mario comic was written by a great group of people who not only loved the source material, they truly understood the characters they were writing.

I only read a few issues of Nintendo Power back in the very early 90s, and I’m sad to say I wasn’t familiar with the Super Mario Adventures comic series until a man named Doug Walker, the host of the Nostalgia Critic on Channel Awesome, did a fantastic video review of it. Without further ado, I’ll let him tell you all about it!

If you would like to take a closer look at the comic, the guys over at the YouTube Channel Tatoo Pedigree posted it online with a full voice over. The actors they chose to perform each part were perfectly cast and if you’ve read the original comic or not, I can’t recommend it enough!

If you liked the review and the motion comic, I’m happy to say that the entire series is back in print and you could buy a collected edition from retailers like NintendoNYC for a price of about $15 US.  I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Gaming History You Should Know.  We’ve got a lot more planned for release throughout August, please stay tuned!

You Will Be Missed – Xbox One QR Codes July 30, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, You Will Be Missed.
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Every day I read a tweet lamenting the fact users can’t use a digital camera to scan the lengthy codes they got as a bonus with their game preorder, these players must never have used the Xbox One at launch. By the end of 2013, the Kinect was included with every single Xbox One console.  While a vocal group resented its inclusion with the console, I was in the opposing camp that actually liked the Kinect and preferred using it.  The Kinect actually enhanced a lot of the console’s functions, and I like it so much I still keep it plugged into my Xbox One to this day.

Many Day One and Collector’s Editions of games can come bundled with exclusive DLC. Traditionally, games that offer extra DLC will bundle one-time use codes players can manually input to get their content. If you’ve never done it before, it works similar to using a gift card online, except instead of store credit you get the item you wanted free of charge.

However, this process of code input is quite antiquated in today’s day and age. Xbox codes are twenty-five characters long and can take forever to input on a controller.  If and that was if you input the code correctly. It could take much longer if you made a mistake mistyping a letter, since you would need to go back into what you typed and double check every single letter to the printed code.  Code redemption was actually the reason I purchased an Xbox 360 controller chat pad back in the day, It was supposed to be for sending messages to friends.

When the first wave of Xbox One games were released alongside the console, the leaflets bundled with those games included more than just DLC codes, they were each printed with a unique QR code.  According to the instructions, by simply saying “Xbox, redeem a code” and holding up the QR code, the Kinect could automatically scan and redeem the code without the need for user input.  The first time I saw one, I was very happy.  Using this method, the entire scan and redeem process took mere moments, and it was such a convenience.

Sadly, this exceptionally useful feature seems to have gone away.  The last time I personally saw a QR code included with a retail Xbox One game was in the Day One Edition of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. That was a third-party published game, and I was grateful to use it to unlock the Final Fantasy XV demo.  However, a QR code was not included with the Day One Edition of Final Fantasy XV, giving me the feeling that this feature may be well and truly dead.

So when did this feature die and what killed it?  No QR Code was included with the premium editions of Halo 5: Guardians back in 2015, and given the fact H5 was Microsoft’s highest profile first-party game of that year, this could have been the tipping point to tell gamers Microsoft was done with the feature.  Let’s face it, the Kinect is no longer bundled with new Xbox One consoles.  The Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles don’t even have a Kinect port, and it is possible Microsoft doesn’t see the point in providing further support for the device that gets a smaller and smaller install base every day.

It looks like Microsoft is now focusing their efforts on improving the Xbox One’s controller interface. They’ve already redesigned the Xbox One OS several times, and while many new features have been added it feels like every new feature makes the Kinect more and more pointless.  Still, I’m sad to see all the useful improvements the little camera brought fall to the waist side.

Farewell, QR Code reader, you will be missed.

Halo Wars 2 Operation Stormbreaker and Leader Serena DLC Released July 26, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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It has been a day since the release of the latest Halo Wars 2 patch and today Creative Assembly has officially released two DLC expansions for the game. The first is the Leader Serena DLC, which adds all-new Blitz Packs to multiplayer. The second is the Operation Storybreaker DLC, which adds two new single-player missions featuring the fan-favorite ODST squad.  Here’s the trailer:

The two DLC expansions are free to download with the Halo Wars 2 Season Pass and the Halo Wars 2 Legendary Edition. It can be purchased in a bundled pack for those who do not have the Season Pass.

Halo Wars 2 is out now for Windows 10 and Xbox One.

If You’re Having Issues Updating Halo Wars 2, Keep Your Xbox One Running July 25, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Since the second patch was released for Halo Wars 2 on the Xbox One, I’ve had nothing but issues installing it.  The update would simply hang at 0% in my download queue, seemingly accomplishing no progress regardless of the amount of time it was running.

Today, an all new patch has just been released for Halo Wars 2, including new balancing tweaks and support for the new DLC Blitz Packs, and once again the download stalled before it even started. I kept my Xbox One running for over two hours before the game finally began to patch.

In the past, I believed this issue to be a bug with the Xbox One’s operating system or a mistake with my game installation, the developers have assured me neither is the case.  They believe it is an issue with the Xbox Live Marketplace and they are still working on fixing it. If you do a hard restart of your Xbox One console while it is patching the game, the Xbox One will immediately re-download the entire game from scratch, all 30GB+ of it, so be aware of that.

Halo Wars 2 is out now on the Xbox One and Windows 10.

Destiny 2 Beta Extended, Final Hours Today July 25, 2017

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Bungie has been overwhelmed by the popularity of their Destiny 2 Multiplayer Beta and because of that, they have extended their online test to today.  Just be aware that Bungie is doing an extreme test in its final hours, as they are spending this time to test their network under extreme stress.  Sudden disconnects are a very real possibility for anyone who continues to play.  If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, you can download it for free off the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live Marketplace.

The beta test is expected to end in a few hours so make sure to play it all you can until then.  Destiny 2 is coming to PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Western Ghats Gameplay Preview July 25, 2017

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I got an in-depth look at Uncharted: The Lost Legacy during E3 2017, and I honestly thought that would be the longest preview Sony would do for the game before its release, but it looks like I was wrong. Earlier today, Sony released this all-new preview of the game, featuring the Western Ghats section.  Its a pretty lengthy preview so if you want to avoid spoilers you may not want to give it a watch until after the game is released.

Is it just me or did this level feel like it was a bit more open than some of the other Uncharted games have been?  I guess we will find out next month.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is coming August 22nd, 2017 exclusively to the PS4.

Pokemon Go Fest Refunds To Be Issued July 23, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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When it launched, Pokémon Go became a worldwide phenomenon, and it is still going strong a year after its release. Developer Niantic planned to host an enormous fan event in Chicago, IL this weekend to celebrate the game’s first year, and it started early this morning.

Major plans were unveiled before the event even started, including raids to unlock various Legendary Pokémon in the wild. Players not at the event would be able to participate as well, as any Pokémon caught worldwide at certain points of the day would bring attendees one step closer to achieving that goal.

However, Pokémon Go Fest was riddled with non-stop glitches ranging from connection issues, long lines, admittance problems, and more. Major raids failed, not because the players were unable to accomplish them, but because the vast majority of potential players couldn’t even connect to the game during the limited play period.

Due to all of these issues, Niantic has decided to refund every attendee’s money and compensate everyone at the event who couldn’t play.  Players with a legitimate ticket will get the following:

  • A full refund of their ticket.
  • $100 of in-game currency (Pokécoins)
  • Access to rare eggs at select PokéStops. (Players must redeem the Pokémon Go Fest Attendee Badge QR code at an event PokeStop first.)
  • Lugia

That last one is not a typo, all attendees are going to get the Legendary Pokémon Lugia, and now Lugia can be earned at gyms in raid battles worldwide.

Anyone who paid for a legitimate ticket to the event should check their email addresses as soon as possible for all the details they’ll need.  Trainers will have until Sunday to register their Attendee Badge QR Codes at the specially designated Pokémon Go Fest PokéStops.

Let’s be honest, while most people are blaming Niantic for this event, Niantic isn’t the only company at fault here.  In the US, its become expected that when you attend a major convention anywhere, the cellular service at the event is going to fail. One would assume with all the profits the cell phone companies are making here, they can afford to provide their customers with a service that works consistently, but they can’t.  Creating a major event that entirely relies on cellular service working is, in my opinion, a bad idea.

I plan to talk more about this event on the website throughout the week, so stay tuned for more Pokémon Go coverage!

Ready Player One SDCC 2017 Preview Released July 22, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I’ve been reading Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One all summer. The book is well deserving of all the praise it has gotten over the years and it came as no surprise it would be adapted to a major motion picture. What was an enormous surprise was the announcement that the feature film would be directed by Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones Trilogy), and today at San Diego Comic Con, attendees got their first look at the film. Enjoy.

Ready Player One is coming to theaters in 2018.

Destiny 2 Open Beta Live on PS4 and Xbox One July 21, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Bungie has just opened access to the Destiny 2 Beta to all console players, and if you want to check out a game that was so popular at E3 2017 I couldn’t even get near its booth, you can download it right now on your console’s respective online marketplace.

If you want in on the Destiny 2 beta you need to download the beta client right now because it will be active for only this weekend. It ends on 9PM PST on July 23rd.  PC players interested in joining the beta will be able to play the beta on PC in August 2017.

Destiny 2 is coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in September 2017.