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iOS 10.3.2 Released May 19, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Just wanted to share a small news post before you start your Friday night. Apple has just released a minor security update for iOS 10 portable devices including the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  The new update is called 10.3.2 and includes non-specific security fixes which should improve your device’s performance.

You can download the update over WiFi by selecting the Software Update option in the Settings app. If you don’t have WiFi access or enough internal storage on your device, you can always install the update through your PC or Mac with iTunes, just use the Apple USB charge cable.  Depending on the specific iOS 10 compatible device you’re upgrading and if you already installed the previous iOS update, iOS 10.3.2 should require a download around 170MB.


Irish Mike Made a Real-Life Gunblade May 18, 2017

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The Gunblade is the signature weapon of Final Fantasy VIII.  Wielded by characters like Squall Leonhart, the weapon is unlike any other.

One of my favorite shows on Discovery Channel was Big Giant Swords. The show featured a retired steelworker turned bladesmith named Irish Mike, who created enormous swords for enthusiastic clients.  The show may have ended production, but Mike is still creating his swords online and for the past two months he’s been working on replicating Final Fantasy VIII‘s Gunblade.

This has to be the best real-life Gunblade I’ve ever seen. The detail is incredible and its scale looks very accurate to the game. If you want to see more of Irish Mike’s work, visit his YouTube Channel!

Final Fantasy VIII is out now for PC and PS1.

Life is Strange is Returning May 18, 2017

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present you three developers from DONTNOD, the creators of Life is Strange.

This is an incredible announcement, especially since I actually talked about the possibility of something like this happening yesterday during my Let’s Play of Alan Wake.  I can’t wait to see what DONTNOD has in store for us!

Phantom Dust Re-Released on the Xbox One and Windows 10 May 17, 2017

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For the past two years, I’ve been hearing a lot about the original Xbox game Phantom Dust.  After a failed attempt to develop a sequel, Microsoft decided to remaster the original game and release it on modern platforms.  Two days ago, Microsoft announced they would be offering the game free of charge on Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms and the internet just went crazy.  Here’s the trailer!

As of today, gamers can download Phantom Dust on their Xbox One or Windows 10 PC free of charge.  The new version of the game supports Xbox Live Play Anywhere, meaning it supports cross-platform cloud saves and multiplayer between Windows 10 and Xbox One users.

Don’t forget to download the free Multiplayer Starter Pack DLC after installing the game on your platform of choice!

Phantom Dust is out now on Windows 10 and Xbox One.

How to Participate in the Dungeons and Dragons Adventurers League May 12, 2017

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If you’re like me, you’ve probably been hearing musings from your friends and peers about this game called Dungeons & Dragons for years now. Its ruleset has been used as a template for countless Western RPGs for decades, and now that it has published its 5th Edition, Wizards of the Coast has been pushing hard to get new players familiar in the game.  In our last article, we talked about where to find free online resources where players interested in checking out the game can learn how to play it.  Today, we’re going to talk about the best way for new players to find a place to play, the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League.

Dungeons & Dragons is, at its heart, a social experience and players from every walk of life are welcome to play.  To help bring players together, the publisher established the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League, and major conventions and stores that sell D&D merchandise will often participate in it.  I’ve found it to be a great way to meet new people and check out all-new 5th Edition modules as they come out.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League, you’ll want to check out this website which includes special rules and documentation for the league. First off, you’re going to want to find a place close to you that may be hosting League events.  If you’re interested in playing, you can use this locator to help you find official Adventurers League events.

Once you find an event, you’ll need an official Wizards DCI number and player account.  If you don’t have one, an organizer should be able to create you a DCI number and give you an official DCI ID at the event.  If you want to make a DCI ID on your own before you go to the event, you can register an account and generate an ID for yourself at this website.

You’ll need to create a character specifically for use in the league, so let’s talk about creating you a character.  First up, you’ll need to use an official Adventurers League character sheet.  You can find download links for Adventurers League character sheets here, alongside download links for other blank or pregenerated character sheets.  Don’t worry, you can print as many copies of the files you need, and because of that I recommend printing them out double-sided in color.

As you can see, they’re almost identical to normal character sheets with a big exception, it asks for a DCI number on top of the sheet.  Characters are generated in the exact same way as they’re described in the Player’s Handbook or the Basic Player Rules.  If you’re having trouble creating a character, you can always consult with your location’s DM or other players before the event starts.

Now that you’ve created a character, next you’ll also need an official questlog.  This helps you keep track of everything you do, how much XP you earned, and what items you’ve obtained over the course of the event. Make sure to take a specific note of your DM’s DCI ID number and the name of the official module you played on the log as well.

Once you have all the tools you need to get into the Adventurers League, all that’s left is just to play and have a good time. In many cases, the organizers hosting the Adventurers League event will likely have spare character sheets and quest logs they’ll be able to give new players.

Obviously some of this information is subject to change and we will be sure to update this article as time goes on.  Players who plan to attend an event should bring a few important items with them.  First, you should bring a copy of the 5th Edition Player’s Handbook or Basic Rules, some dice, and a pencil.  Have fun!

Pokemon Play and Collect Event May 13th May 10, 2017

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Toys R Us and Nintendo have announced they will be hosting a Pokémon Play and Collect Event Saturday May 13th.  Trainers who attend the event will be able to demo Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. During the event, Toys R Us will be giving away an exclusive poster, a TCG collectors album, and an exclusive Alolan Vulpix foil TCG card. The first fifty people to attend will also receive a free Eevee figurine.

I’ve attended a few of these Toys R Us Pokémon events over the past two years and this one looks like it’ll be the best one yet.  The event will take place from 1-3PM. You can read all the details about the event here and here.

Free References and Tools For Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition May 10, 2017

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If you’re like me, you’ve probably been hearing musings from your friends and peers about this game called Dungeons & Dragons for years now.  It’s ruleset has been used as a template for countless Western RPGs for decades, and now that it has published its 5th Edition, its publisher has been pushing hard to get new players familiar in the game.

If you want to learn how to play D&D you’re in luck because Wizards of the Coast, the official publisher of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, is offering tons of rulesets and tools for new players completely free of charge. It’s the perfect way to learn how to play the game before deciding if you want to pay money on the core retail books.

You can find links to PDF files for the Basic Players Guide and Basic Dungeon Master’s Guide here.  You’re welcome to read them on your smartphone or tablet, and I know of plenty groups that will accept players using digital references. However, if you’ve got access to a printer or a local office supply store, you’re fully allowed to print out all the pages of both PDF files containing the Basic Rules.  If you’re going to print the rules, I recommend setting your printer to print them double-sided in full color. Trust me on that, printing double-sided uses less paper and including color makes reading the pages easier on the eyes. They’re a little too thick to staple together but as you can see here, the pages can be three-hole punched to fit in any three-ring binder you want.

The catch is that because these rules are free they do not contain everything.  Races like the Tiefling, classes like the Druid, and enemies like the Succubus are not included in the free rules while they are in the full retail core rulebooks.  That having been said, players are fully capable of using these free rules to help them in creating a new character and playing the game alongside others who have paid for the retail books.

If you want to play you’re going to need a character sheet and Wizards has you covered there as well!  Wizards allows players to print out and even copy character sheets, so you can download PDF files of several different sets of character sheets (blank and pregenerated) here.  Here’s a look at some of them.

5th Edition character sheets are compatible with players using either the Basic Rules or the full Player’s Guide. We’ll be taking a closer look at them below.

Under normal circumstances, a regular 5th Edition character sheet is made up of three pages. The first and second pages (which I recommend printing in a double sided format) are for writing down important information like player stats, current inventory, abilities, and character appearance.  The third page is only used for spell casters and is not needed unless you’re playing as a character who can cast spells.  You’ll use those normal character sheets if you’re playing D&D at home or with friends in a private game.

The character sheet website also includes master PDF files for every pregenerated character sheet included in the 5th Edition Starter Set, and those can also be reprinted. I prefer using copies of documents rather than the originals, so I was happy to find Wizard was hosting those files as well.  If you want to see everything that’s included in the Starter Set, check out our unboxing here.

So now that you know where to find the rules, you know where to get the forms you’ll need to create a character, all that’s left is dice.  Wizards of the Coast won’t give you game dice for free (although you will find a set of dice in the 5th Ed Starter Set), but we can help you out if you don’t have any dice. While a set of dice isn’t that expensive to purchase (you can see our review of a set of seven Chessex Gemini dice here), there are other free tools you can use instead of dice.

The iPhone’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa voice services have random number generators that you can use to substitute for dice rolling.  To get your device to do a roll, just tell your digital assistant, “Roll *number of dice* D-*type of dice*”.  So if you need your Echo to give you a single D20 roll, you would say, “Alexa, roll one D20.”  Don’t use a plural word when asking to roll multiple dice, as that can confuse the systems. So if you want to roll two D6, you would say, “Alexa, roll two D6.”  It’s a little slower than actually having dice, but it’s still pretty cool.

Some of this information will probably be updated as D&D Beyond goes out of beta later this year. Hopefully this information was useful to all the new players interested in playing D&D 5th Ed. You might have noticed a different kind of character sheet in the picture above marked with the Adventurers League watermark. That is a special character sheet we’ll be discussing more next time.

How to Get a Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial May 10, 2017

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If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard a lot about the multiplatform MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, but you want to try it out before putting down some money for the game.  Well, I’ve got some good news for you because Square Enix is now offering a free unlimited time 30 level trial for new Final Fantasy XIV players!  You can check out all the information about it here.

First up, you’re going to need a Square Enix account to sign up for the free trial, but you can actually create one for free. If you happen to use something like the Final Fantasy Portal App (and if you don’t you totally should) the account you created for the Portal App it should work fine.  It only takes a few seconds to activate your account, and from there you can choose the platform you want to play on.

This free trial works on the PC and PS4, and you can chose to play the free trial on the platform of your choice.  If you choose to play on the PC, you can download the demo client from the website. If you want to play on the PS4, you will need to download the free trial client off the Playstation Store.

Depending on which platform you choose to play on, you’re going to get prompted to download an updated installer the first time you run the trial.  When you finally get prompted to log in for the first time, you’ll get three boxes. You’ll need to sign in your Square Enix User Name (not email) and your password. Unless you’re locking your account with a Square Enix Token, you won’t need to include anything in the third slot.

After you complete your first login, grab a Coke because it’s going to take a while to install all of the extra game client data and patches before you can play.  If you’re like me and you upgraded the hard drive on your PS4 you should be fine.

The free trial doesn’t have a time limit but it have a level cap and will restrict access to certain areas. If you enjoyed the trial and want to explore the full game, you can unlock it by buying the full game client digitally.

Final Fantasy XIV is out now on the PC and PS4.

Quake Champions Beta Going Open Soon May 9, 2017

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If you’ve applied to be a member of the Quake Champions online Beta Test but haven’t gotten an acceptance email yet, I’ve got some very good news for you.  Bethesda has announced they’re going to be opening their closed multiplayer test of Quake Champions to all testers who signed up for it on Friday, May 12th!

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest news on Quake Champions, here’s the games latest trailer featuring the Ranger!  Quake 1 players will probably find him familiar.

If you haven’t signed up to play the Quake Champions multiplayer test, you can do so right here.

Quake Champions is coming exclusively to the PC.

Reminder: Free Comic Book Day 2017 Tomorrow May 5, 2017

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Comic readers, comic fans and small business enthusiasts will be happy to hear that Free Comic Book Day 2017 is tomorrow!

Free Comic Book Day is a yearly tradition where comic book shops across the nation offer specially marked comic books for free while their supplies last. In past years, the event has offered free comics based on gaming properties and this year is no different.

The festivities start as soon as your local comic shop opens tomorrow.  If you don’t know where your local comic book shop is located, you can check out the event’s official website to find a retail locator and a list of free comics that will be offered.