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Wednesday, Jul 05, 2017

Rocket League Anniversary Update

A Steam update has details on a new Anniversary Update that's now live for Rocket League, the motorize sports game. This has new arenas, crates, and trails. It also introduces changes to the reward system, as outlined in this post. Here's word on the new content:

  • “Champions Field” is now available in all Playlists, and in Private Matches
  • “Starbase ARC” has been updated with new visuals and reduced brightness
  • Boost pads are now standardized in all standard Arenas


  • “Overdrive” Crate has been added
  • When received, the Overdrive Crate will display as “Crate - Overdrive” in your inventory
  • “Champions” Crate Series has been retired


  • Trails are now available in the Car Customization menu
  • Trails appear behind the Wheels when your Battle-Car goes SuperSonic
  • Every player has the “Classic” Trail by default
  • More Trails are available in the Overdrive Crate

West of Loathing Next Month

Asymmetric announces an August release for West of Loathing, the crowdfunded comedy RPG from the developers of classic minimalist humorous RPG The Kingdom of Loathing. This will come to Windows, macOS, and Linux at that time, and to iOS down the road. The game's Steam page is in place, and like the official website, it offers this trailer with a look at what to expect. Here's word:
Say howdy to West of Loathing -- a single-player slapstick comedy adventure role-playing game set in the wild west of the Kingdom of Loathing universe. Traverse snake-infested gulches, punch skeletons wearing cowboy hats, grapple with demon cows, and investigate a wide variety of disgusting spittoons.

Talk your way out of trouble as a silver-tongued Snake Oiler, plumb the refried mysteries of the cosmos as a wise and subtle Beanslinger, or let your fists do the talking as a fierce Cow Puncher. Explore a vast open world and encounter a colorful cast of characters, some of whom are good, many of whom are bad, and a few of whom are ugly.


  • a sprawling open world, chock full of danger, quests, puzzles, and mysteries
  • lush hand-drawn black and white graphics
  • full stick-figure customization
  • thousands of jokes, gags, and goofs
  • crunchy turn-based combat (but only if you want it)
  • liberal use of the Oxford comma
  • over 50 hats
  • disreputable saloons
  • several gulches
  • a drunk horse

NOTE: characters are not literally colorful (the game is in black and white)

Continue here to read the full story.

Last Day of June on the Last Day of August

505 Games announces an August 31st release date for Last Day of June, staving off a touch of irony by pointing out that at least they first revealed this on the just-past last day of June (even if the U.S. holiday meant some of us missed this at the time). Grab some antidepressants and check out the game's new gameplay trailer, now with even more emo than their first teaser. Here's a description:
Fresh off a much-lauded appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Last Day of June has been hailed by critics including CNET, IGN and Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller as one of the best experiences of the show. Now, visionary Italian independent studio Ovosonico and indie publisher 505 Games offer deeper insight into the painterly world of the upcoming single-player journey with a new trailer. This cinematic glimpse inside Last Day of June reveals core mechanics of the meaningful narrative, in which players discover portals to the past that allow them to unlock and become characters intertwined in June’s story. Each character will present new emotionally challenging puzzles to solve, as June’s bereaved husband Carl attempts to turn back time and save her life. View the new trailer here:

Ovosonico and 505 also announced Last Day of June will launch globally on August 31 as a digital download for PlayStation®4 and on Steam for PC, retailing at $19.99. Pre-orders for PS4 begin today and offer buyers an exclusive console theme that depicts Carl and June in the celebrated style that sets Last Day of June apart as a true artistic vision. PS Plus members will save 20% on their pre-orders from now through Aug. 18.

From an all-star collaboration of creators including acclaimed director Massimo Guarini (Murasaki Baby, Shadow of the Damned, Naruto: Rise of a Ninja), award-winning musician and record producer Steven Wilson, and Jess Cope (animator on Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” and director for Metallica’s “Here Comes Revenge” music video), Last Day of June blends multiple genres of art to offer a meaningful and creative experience that will resonate with a broad audience of players. Intended as a poignant journey that will appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike, Last Day of June poses the question “What would you do to save the one you love?”
Continue here to read the full story.

Agents of Mayhem Trailer

A new trailer shows off some "Magnum Sized Action" from Agents of Mayhem, the third-person action game coming to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 next month. This is because the clip includes some Magnum P.I. cosplay from Johnny Gat. The clip comes along with this blurb on the game:
Agents of Mayhem’s vision of a futuristic Seoul is ruled by LEGION, but it can be taken back with the help of agents at MAYHEM’s base known as the ARK. Machining expert and resident engineer Gremlin runs the ARK’s R&D lab. Terminally positive, Gremlin engages her mischievous curiosity for all machines to create some of MAYHEM’s deadliest weapons, including the Gutterball Gun, which strikes down everything in its path with a barrage of giant electrified balls, and the Cabbit Bomb, which turns enemies into explosive Cabbits. Gremlin’s crazy weapons can be found hidden in caches around the city, and while her devices aren’t always the safest or well tested, they’re guaranteed to make a splash.

As agents battle Dr. Babylon and defeat his Lieutenants, LEGION’s hold on Seoul will weaken. Agents can locate and eliminate LEGION Patrols, destroy their supply trucks, rescue scientists taken hostage, or attack and capture one of LEGION’s major outposts and use the intel gained to pinpoint all of LEGION’s other nearby activities. Dr. Babylon won’t allow MAYHEM to carry on unchecked though; he’ll send troops to respond to attacks via Mole Machines, fortify his outposts with sniper nests, barricades, and mines, or counterattack in true evil style by dispatching one of his minions equipped with a Doomsday Weapon!
Continue here to read the full story.

Fate/EXTELLA PC This Month

XSEED Games announces a PC edition of Fate/EXTELLA is coming to Steam on July 25th, marking the PC debut of this fighting game. If you want a look, grab your crazy pills and check out the gameplay in this trailer from last year's E3 showing off the console version. Here's a bit of what to expect:
Developed by Marvelous Inc. and expanding upon the extensive Fate universe with an original story from acclaimed series writer Kinoko Nasu (of Fate/stay night fame), Fate/EXTELLA features a diverse cast of 16 playable “Servants” – ancient warriors of legend and imagination, always at the beck and call of their Masters – who survived the Holy Grail War that took place on the Moon. In a future watched over by the all-powerful lunar super computer, “Moon Cell Automaton,” these champions now battle for dominance over this digital realm, known as “SE.RA.PH.” This story takes place after the events described in Fate/EXTRA, and depicts the world as it appears following that previous Holy Grail War.

Players will experience the story of Fate/EXTELLA from the independent perspectives of the three factions wrestling for control over SE.RA.PH. and face off against foes from a variety of Fate productions, including characters from Fate/EXTRA, Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero, Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Grand Order, in fast-paced combat. A new form change battle mechanic called Moon Crux debuts in this entry to match its series-first gameplay style, transforming the player-controlled Servants and granting them considerable powers that allow them to devastate enemies and take formidable challenges head-on. The game will contain the original Japanese voices, with the Nintendo Switch and Windows PC versions featuring game text in English, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional), and Korean.

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Iconic canned meat Spam turns 80.

Total War Saga Series Announced

Creative Assembly announces a "new class" of Total War game, revealing plans for a series of Total War Saga games that will be standalone spinoffs of the historical strategy series. They describe these as smaller scenarios with a greater focus on specific regions or groups. They note that they've dabbled in this before, as the Fall of the Samurai spin-off of Total War: SHOGUN 2 is the kind of project this will produce. There is a Q&A with Jack Lusted, game developer on the first of these Sagas. They are holding back on details for now, though he does give a general outline of the setting:
Michael: Any hints yet as to the content? Why did you want to make a game based at this particular point in history?

Jack: We’ll announce it properly in the next few months, but I can say that it’s another spiritual follow-up to Total War: ROME II, like Total War: ATTILA, and moves the time period forward in much the same way. It’s great being able to build on and optimise the tech and the content from those games, like the work we did on ATTILA with Age of Charlemagne. Especially for a moment in history we’ve not spent enough time with yet as a studio.

More Overwatch Doomfist Clues

A new post on the Overwatch website is a narrative offering the latest, and strongest yet indications that Doomfist is coming to Overwatch, though there's no indication of when, nor is there any hint of whether Terry Crews will have his dreams of playing the character fulfilled. Here's word:
NUMBANI —Three months after initial reports of an incident at Helix Security International's classified maximum security installation, a more complete picture of what happened has emerged. Information and details of what happened were scarce as has been any news from the installation, said to be a prison for the world's most dangerous threats. However, after recent events in Numbani, it can now be confirmed that what occurred was an attack by the Talon organization with the express purpose of freeing one man: Akande Ogundimu, better known as Doomfist.

It began in the early hours of the morning, when an unidentified aircraft approached the facility. Security initially reported that the craft had no passengers on board, based on radar scans. The craft passed through the range of the installation's defense systems without incident, leading some to believe that Talon has moles within Helix. Video surveillance from within the compound revealed a black shadowy figure emerging from the craft and descending upon the prison grounds. The unidentified assailant easily overcame the Helix security agents, leaving over a dozen dead. Medical records of the casualties reveal injuries and cellular degeneration matching other incidents involving the mercenary known as the Reaper, all but confirming the incursion as a Talon attack.

Helix officials have been unwilling to reveal whether or not there were additional escapees or items taken from the facility, but sources have indicated that it is likely that there were further security breaches in addition to Ogundimu.

After escaping from the facility, Helix lost track of Ogundimu until he resurfaced in Numbani, where he clashed with the newly introduced OR15 defense robots at the Adawe International Terminal, easily destroying them and reclaiming the Doomfist.

Questions have been raised about the effectiveness and methodology of Helix, which in recent years, has greatly increased its profile as the world's security force. But after a number of high profile incidents, including the breach of a similarly top-secret facility in Egypt, those who have objected to the increased privatization of security following the shuttering of Overwatch will have been dismayed that Helix has requested, and been granted, additional funding by the UN to cope with rising threats.

New Mass Effect: Andromeda Difficulty Level Teased

A tweet from Mass Effect teases a new Platinum Difficulty level for Mass Effect: Andromeda. There's not much, just an 11-second animation along with the following blurb: "Take your skills to the next level. Platinum Difficulty is coming to APEX Multiplayer." Thanks GameSpot.

BATTLECREW Space Pirates Full Release and Free Trial Next Week

DONTNOD ELEVEN announces a July 10th release date for BATTLECREW Space Pirates, saying that is when their "multiplayer hero shooter" will launch out of early access. They also announce that a free version will be part of the mix. Here's the plan:
DONTNOD ELEVEN is pleased to announce that its 2.5D multiplayer hero shooter, BATTLECREW™ Space Pirates, will leave Steam's Early Access program and move to a full release on Monday 10th July 2017!

BATTLECREW™ Space Pirates will launch with a free version to allow every pirate to test their skills on the game!

The end of the Steam Early Access marks the end of a significant phase for the studio. During that period, the developers worked with the community to develop the core of the game, using player feedback to create maps, fix balancing and prioritize new features, a support for which the team is very grateful.

As a thank you gift to every player who acquired the game during the Steam Early Access phase, the developers are happy to offer a special reward they will automatically receive when BATTLECREW™ Space Pirates launches on Steam. Stay tuned!

Shadow Warrior Classic is Free

Shadow Warrior Classic is now free-to-play for Windows and macOS on and Steam (thanks VG247), offering the chance to check out this Build-engine martial arts shooter that met with a little controversy when it was released back in 1997. Here's the Steam description of the game:
Strap on your combat sandals...Lo Wang is coming to the Land of the Rising Sun to turn out the lights. Experience total blood immersion. If you can't touch, kill or drive something...then blow it away! Whether you're wielding shurikens, an Uzi, or a freshly plundered Guardian've got your work cut out for you. Enter the world's most interactive 3D environment...and cut yourself some sushi!

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • AZZA Titan 240 Mid-Tower Chassis on TweakTown.
  • Eurocom Sky X9E3 (GTX 1080 SLI) Laptop on techPowerUp.
  • Fnatic Gear RUSH G1 Silent Backlit Mechanical Keyboard on Nikk Tech.
  • Intel Core i9-7900X CPU on Ars Technica UK.
  • Razer Lancehead Mouse on TechSpot.
  • TerraMaster D2-310 Storage Enclosure (2x 2.5--3.5- SATA to USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C) on AnandTech.
  • Thermaltake Core X9 Snow Edition Case on Overclocked Inside. German.
  • Tt eSPORTS Ventus X Plus Smart Gaming Mouse on Modders-Inc.

Out of the Blue

We had a fine old Independence Day here in the BlueTower. It was a low-key affair, but I grilled up some burgers and we watched some of the fireworks on TV. This year was pretty mild for us in the fireworks area. Besides the past two nights, we have had very few stray explosions, much less full-blown shows, and last night's "big" show seemed pretty small, with more pops than booms. This would have suited our late buddy Hudson the wonder dog perfectly, as she was particularly terrified by fireworks. Things need to get really out of control to bother the Gunnar-man, so he was perfectly fine, and napped through most of the action, further cementing his reputation as the king of chill.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Shadowhawks Squadron.
Story: Joey Chestnut Wins 2017 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, His 10th All-Time.
Science: A New Treatment for Dogs Scared by Thunder and Fireworks. Thanks RedEye9 and Neutronbeam.
Now any Floridian can ask to have public schools' science and literary curriculum censored.
Germany’s power sector making serious strides in renewable energy.
Media: A PSA From Dogs About Fireworks. Thanks RedEye9.
Sinclair Broadcast Group: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). Thanks RedEye9.