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November 2017

Gaming News

Jazz Jackrabbit Complete Collection Now Available on GOG

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If you were both a PC and console gamer who grew up in the 90’s (like us!), you probably noticed the lack of platform mascots on the PC. Here’s a fun little fact for you: Epic Games, the Gears of War and Unreal Tournament guys, created a ton of slightly obscure games in the early 90’s. One such featured a green jackrabbit with a red bandanna, a blaster gun, and an attitude! Enter Jazz Jackrabbit!

Now that we think about it, Jazz Jackrabbit played like a game that combined the platforming of Mario, the speed of Sonic, and the shooting bits from classic run’n’gun games like Contra. Taking the story of The Tortoise and the Hare to extreme levels, Jazz’s world is overrun by an evil army of tortoises. The mastermind behind it all is the nefarious Devan Shell, a particular ruthless tortoise who conquers entire planets. Shell attempts to conquer the planet Carrotus, Jazz’s homeworld, and of course he’s not having any of that!

The Jazz Jackrabbit Collection features the original game plus the Holiday Hare’95 expansion pack, which throws in some new festive levels. This is where Jazz started, and the game is still solid and fun to play today. The real standout of the show though is the Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Collection. With a bigger adventure better graphics, and an awesome soundtrack, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 was a stellar platformer. This collection contains the base game plus the Secret Files and Christmas Chronicles expansion packs.

While Jazz never went on to see another game, the game kept a relatively healthy fanbase who loved and cherished the game when it first came out. Over the years, a team of dedicated fans created a fan mod called “JJ2+”, which expands the multiplayer with new game modes, fixes bugs, and adds tools to play user-created levels. It’s quite the package, and awesomely enough GOG has included the mod with the GOG version of the game.

As a GOG reviewer lovingly puts it, Jazz Jackrabbit represents the “Windows platform’s finest achievement in the platforming genre”. If you’re at all interested, we highly recommend checking out the games while they still have the 10% off discount!

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Gaming News

Explore Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online Free Weekend

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The fantasy world of Tamriel awaits, adventurer! As a part of the 10-million player celebration, The Elder Scrolls Online will have a free trial period this coming weekened, specifically from November 30 to December 6.

If you want to play the PlayStation 4 version, you’ll need an active PlayStation Plus subscription to download and play, but the game itself will be free. If you’re on PC or Mac, you can download the game client from the official TESO website or through Steam.

If you’re fresh new adventurer wandering into the world of Tamriel for the first time, your account will be automatically gifted 500 crowns. Crowns are essentially the game’s premium currency, as you can spend them in the crown store that lets you buy boosts, cosmetics, account bonuses, and more. If you’ve played before, your old characters will still be around and your progress will be as you left it!

Once you’ve taken the plunge, be sure to check out the dungeon event as well. Running throughout the free trial period, the in-game dungeon event will rally players both new and old into helping each other complete random dungeons. Once every day you can use the dungeon finder to complete a random dungeon which will net you a Mysterious Reward Box. These boxes contain in-game rewards like experience scrolls, potions, pets, mounts, and more! If you’re super duper lucky, you may even hit the jackpot prize and receive 20 in-game houses and 20 mounts!

The Elder Scrolls Online has come a long way since its original launch back in 2014. If you’re at all interested, we highly recommend checking out the free weekend and seeing it for yourself. We think the game has evolved and is much better than it was in the past, so give it a shot! If it clicks with you, the game is actually 50% off on Steam at the moment. Get ready to jump into Tamriel!

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Gaming News

Rise and Fall In Civilization VI’s Newest Expansion

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Sid Meier’s and Firaxis Games’ long running Civilization series has already been about wonderment, discovery, and history. In this powerful announcement trailer, we get to see all those traits from many viewpoints of a young woman. Enter Civilization VI: Rise and Fall!

Rise and Fall is Civilization VI’s first official expansion pack, and it brings a bunch of new mechanics to the table. While the trailer is riveting and emotional, it’s mostly a cinematic trailer so it doesn’t really show us new gameplay features, so we’ll talk about those.

“Great Ages” can happen now as you move between historic eras and they come in two flavors: Golden Ages and Dark Ages. Golden Ages will function like they have in the previous Civilization games where you’ll reap the benefits of a good year with bonuses to just about anything. On the flip side, the appropriately named Dark Ages will bring gloom and doom about. Your performance in the previous era will determine which age happens, and whichever you get you must triumph!

Loyalty is now a new stat that you’ll need to keep track of. Each individual city that is a part of your civilization will have its own loyalty counter to you. Events can make or break their loyalty, and if a city’s loyalty drops too low you run the risk of revolts, low production rates, and worst of all complete independence from your rule. You’ll need to utilize the new Governor unit to reinforce loyalty.

Alliances now have forms that correspond to the research trees – research, military, economic, cultural, and religious. Alliances provide leaders will bonuses that become more powerful the longer the alliance stays together. Keep your friends close to thrive!

On the other side of alliances are emergencies. Emergencies can occur when one civilization becomes too powerful and performs a power move like wiping out another civilization. The other civilizations can temporarily band together and face the threat.

Among these new mechanics are some universal additions, like nine new leaders, eight new civilizations, new natural wonders, new units, and more! Civilization VI: Rise and Fall is currently scheduled for a February 8, 2018 release. Stay tuned for more info from Firaxis Games.

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Gaming News

Demon’s Souls Servers Shut Down February 2018

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It’s the end of the beginning. Demon’s Souls, the very first game in the Souls series, is finally getting put to rest after eight long years. The full game will remain playable, but the online components will cease to function and if you’ve played a Souls game, you know exactly how fun and awesome they were.

Following a press statement with the official news that the servers will be going down on February 28, 2018, Atlus took the time to reminiscence about their time with the game. When Demon’s Souls was published around the world, nobody knew that it’d become such a big hit with the mainstream gaming community. The game served as the basis for the Souls series which went on to astonish gamers around the world with the eventual Dark Souls.

But again, we can’t forget where we came from. With this announcement, that means that player messages, phantoms, world tendency, invasions, and co-op summoning will be no more for Demon’s Souls. As personal fans of all the multiplayer components, we’re sad to see these go. If you haven’t gotten the chance yet and you’ve played Dark Souls or any of the other Souls games, we highly recommend trying out Demon’s Souls. It’s still a great game that holds up today, and you get to see where all the design philosophies the series is famous for started out.

Among the online components, summoning and invasions were our favorite. Even if you haven’t played any of the games there’s no doubt you’ve heard that the Souls series is extremely challenging and will push you to your limits. No matter how skilled you are, you will eventually come up to a segment or boss you just can’t comprehend. This is where you can call in some back up! The Souls series has a rather unique way of online co-op, and Demon’s Souls started it all. Players placed special signs on the ground that showed up in other player worlds. If you touched the sign, you could summon the player in question to help you through the level or with the boss. It was really great when you took down a tough boss with a complete stranger.

If we haven’t made it clear, we’re going to miss Demon’s Souls, but we’re also excited for what’s to come next. We have faith in FromSoftware!

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To The Moon 2 Debuts in a Wacky Announcement

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To the Moon was an indie classic that captured the hearts of gamers around the world. Released in 2011, this game utilized the RPG Maker Engine to create an RPG that didn’t really have any combat. Instead, it opted for linear experience with a big emphasis on story and narrative. Players assumed the role of Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts as they let dying patients relive their lives the way they wanted it to go – essentially granting them wishes.

If you’ve never played it, you can already tell just from that synopsis that the game was pretty heavy with its themes and tone. Freebird Games, the team behind the game, announced sometime ago that a sequel was coming but not much was heard of it after that. Today, we’ve finally gotten our first look at the game and well… see for yourself.

Poking fun a lot of topics from today’s era, we see that the studio still has that same kind of humor that was found in the original To the Moon. Unfortunately the trailer ends after the punchline, so this is more of a teaser than an actual trailer. Still, we’re excited that the doctors’ adventures are continuing! Finding Paradise, the official title of the game, follows the doctors on their next case.

This time around they’re helping a man named Colin Reeds, who actually is the protagonist from Freebird’s earlier title A Bird Story. The game has officially been titled as the second chapter of the To the Moon series, which means that future games in the series will probably chronicle the adventures of the Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts. The game is currently scheduled for a December 14 release, so stay tuned as we get closer its release date next month. Director Kan Gao says that a real trailer will come out by then.

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Neverwinter Nights Returns In A Strange Yet Optimistic Fashion

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Beamdog, a studio comprised of former BioWare developers, is set to bring the classic Dungeon & Dragons video game adaptation Neverwinter Nights to the modern era! Aptly titled Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, this new version will bring the game to modern computers, which actually… seems to be the only thing it’s doing.

Now don’t get us wrong, we love ourselves good old fashioned BioWare RPGs, but a lot of fans are already confused as this game. Watch the trailer for yourself – it doesn’t seem too “enhanced,” does it? At least graphics wise it doesn’t. We’re assuming that this isn’t really a true “HD remaster” but more of a glorified stability update to get the game running on newer computers.

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will be based on the “Diamond” version of the original game, which means it includes both expansions Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark plus three premium modules: Kingmaker, ShadowGuard, and Witch’s Wake. You’ll have all of the official content of the original game, so the community is hoping that this breathes new life into the fan module community.

You see, the original Neverwinter Nights had a bunch to do after you finished the story campaign. You could actually create your own campaigns with the provided tools and share them with other players. A big community grew around this, and players were sharing awesome creations with each other. Hopefully with the Enhanced Edition, this feature will come back with better functionality. This isn’t even mentioning the module community which develops mods for the game, or the online multiplayer that allowed for expansive role-playing and just general good fun.

The bottomline is that Neverwinter Nights was a special game in the PC community, and if the Enhanced Edition can bring all of this magic to the modern era, it could mean a big revival for the game. Stay tuned for more news from Beamdog!

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