Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 at 08:46AM - Fable Anniversary leads Xbox Games with Gold for April

After feeling like the longest month in history, March is nearly over - and frankly we could all do with a pick-me-up. Thankfully Xbox Games with Gold is here to help.

Next month Xbox Live Gold subscribers can get their hands on Fable Anniversary, the remastered version of the 2004 RPG classic. Players will also be able to access the 2017 game Project Cars 2 by Slightly Mad Studios, and the bundle edition of turn-based RPG Knights of Pen and Paper when it arrives later in the month. Then, if that still hasn't satisfied you, there's Toybox Turbos - the 2014 racing game by Codemasters.

It's worth noting each game is only available for a limited time: Project Cars 2 between April 1st-30th, Knights of Pen and Paper from 16th April to 15th May, Fable Anniversary from 1st-15th April, and Toybox Turbos from 16th-30th April. Still no word on a release date for Fable 4, though.

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Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 at 07:32AM - Fortnite adds bullet-blocking Kingsman umbrellas

Another update, another week without patch notes - but it seems v12.30 has a couple of surprises in store for players, as two new items have been introduced.

Continuing this season's spy theme, Kingsman umbrellas are now available as legendary items in the game. Presumably these are based on the Kingsman comic and film series, particularly the scene in which Harry uses an umbrella to deck a bunch of thugs in a pub - and similarly, the item seems to be fairly useful in Fortnite too. You can use it to dart forwards, smash things, hit other players, and even block bullets (for a short amount of time). Like a very dapper riot shield.

The umbrellas even briefly work as a glider, but this has been causing problems for some players, who clearly assumed it would stay open for longer than three seconds. An easy mistake to make, given it looks very similar to Fortnite's famous victory umbrella gliders.

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Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 at 06:44AM - The Outer Worlds lands on Nintendo Switch in June

Sci-fi role-player The Outer Worlds will arrive for Nintendo Switch as a physical release and digital download on 5th June.

Boxed copies will include a physical cartridge - but also a sizeable download, as has rather become the norm. You'll need space to fit a 6GB download, described as a "day one patch".

The game's Nintendo Switch price point has been set at £50/€60.

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Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 at 04:02AM - Fan-made Animal Crossing site makes sharing designs easy

You're a few days in, the Able Sisters have set up shop, and it's time to get some fancy threads in your Animal Crossing: New Horizons town. But where can you find new custom designs?

If you want to download some lovely designs into your game, chances are you'll be looking through Twitter and Reddit for ideas. New Horizons allows players to upload their work and share it via codes - but there's no official database either in-game or online allowing players to browse through everything and select designs they like. So, naturally, a fan is here to help.

Last night Reddit user plump_tomato shared their work-in-progress database called Nookpedia, and it's already received a significant amount of attention. Users can upload screenshots of their codes and name their designs so other users can find them with the search bar and filters. And, if you want a complete lucky dip, you can simply browse through the custom design pages until you find something you like. I've already spotted several stylish Mulan pieces, and contributed my own Fire Emblem: Three Houses Dimitri cosplay.

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Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 at 04:00AM - Best streaming accessories for gaming on Twitch 2020

Streaming games on Twitch, YouTube or another service is good fun - and for many, it's become a full-time job. If you've dabbled with streaming and want to take things to the next level, this page is for you. We've tested and recommended some of the best entry-level streaming accessories available, including mics, cameras, lights and the other AV equipment you'll need to put on a professional broadcast.

We'll start with a selection of gaming microphones and audio interfaces, as audio tends to be the hardest thing to master when you start streaming. Whether you go for a simple plug-and-play USB microphone or a more professional XLR setup with an audio interface, our recommendations should help you find the best value options on the market from £50/$50 to around £400/$400 at the upper end.

If streaming has become a serious hobby or actual profession for you, then dedicated video equipment becomes more worthwhile. For our part, we've tested a few entry-level cameras and lights, each less than £200/$200, to ensure that you start on the right foot.

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Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 at 03:01AM - More details emerge on Nintendo's Mario remasters

After an initial leak set the floodgates open yesterday, new details have been published on how Nintendo's upcoming array of Mario games old and new will actually be released.

There's a little more, too, on the Switch's new Paper Mario game, which has yet to be announced by Nintendo itself.

Venturebeat reported that the three 3D Mario remasters would be offered in a collection, dubbed something like "Super Mario All-Stars 2". This is branding Eurogamer has heard of being used internally.

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Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 at 02:02AM - Good Job review - a proper little delight

I have waited so many years to hear the right words. So many years, not even knowing what the right words are, or what form they will take. Now I have heard them: Deliver a Big Cube. Okay, not the exact words I was expecting, but they will do. They will do nicely.

At the start, it's a small cube. A small cube of pink space-jelly or something, lurid and wibbling in a lab. I pick it up and drag it. Its flesh, to quote General Sternwood, is too much like the flesh of men. It squidges along the floor behind me. Just an office worker taking a cube for a stroll.

But when I run over pools of pink goo, the cube starts to draw them up. It starts to get bigger! More pink goo! I need more! I start to hunt it down, clumsy now because my small cube is no longer a small cube, and is actually fairly awkward in fact. Walls shatter. Wheely chairs go flying. Equipment is upturned. No matter! The cube drinks. Eventually I find a vat of the goo stuff - three storeys high. Turn the valve, plug in a pipe, let it spill everywhere! The cube erupts into its final size, a true monster. But still so light and jelly-like to drag. Into the weighing machine and off to whoever requested a big cube. Delivered, mate. I hope they love it as much as I did.

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Eurogamer.net: March 31, 2020 - Persona 5 Royal review - both better and worse than the original

It's a great intro: protagonist Joker darting along the casino roof, quick like a shadow. Making fast work of a handful of enemies while leaving others in the dust, his black coat swishing behind him. The excited voices of his team mates over the intercom as he's almost reached his goal, but then! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! He's surrounded!

The first sequence of Persona 5 Royal acts as foreshadowing and tutorial all wrapped up in one, showing you everything you will regularly be doing in each dungeon you crawl through - jumping between platforms and squeezing through ducts to find a way forward, hiding away from enemies or ambushing them when they're not looking. Most importantly, in round-based combat you unleash Persona, manifestations of parts of Joker's psyche who can use different elemental attacks, healing spells and stat buffs. Persona 5 Royal also adds a grappling hook to your arsenal, which you'll mostly use to find shortcuts and additional treasure.

Joker and his friends, regular students at Shujin Academy in Tokyo, one day stumble into the Metaverse, a parallel reality that manifests Palaces where people live out their worst desires. There's also Mementos, a sprawling maze of randomly generated dungeons. The group of high schoolers enter these palaces to steal people's treasures, causing them to let go of harmful desires and confess their crimes.

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from Eurogamer.net

Monday, March 30, 2020

Eurogamer.net: March 30, 2020 at 10:58AM - Pokémon Go will let you raid with friends from home

In its most fundamental change to gameplay yet, Pokémon Go will soon allow you to take part in raid battles with friends from home.

The change is one of several new features in development at Niantic in response to the global coronavirus crisis, detailed today in a lengthy blog post from company founder John Hanke.

The post also touched on the game's annual Go Fest events, which see tens of thousands of players meet up in cities every summer.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 30, 2020 at 06:47AM - Police stop Stevenage man playing Pokémon Go while driving

Police have pulled over a man driving around Stevenage, Hertfordshire, playing Pokémon Go during the coronavirus lockdown.

When asked the reason for his car journey, the man told coppers he was out catching Pokémon, ITV News reported.

Police officers informed the man this was "not essential travel" and directed him home.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 30, 2020 at 05:25AM - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Remaster launches tomorrow

A remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's campaign will launch tomorrow, 31st March, according to a leaked PlayStation Store listing Eurogamer understands to be accurate.

This confirmation comes after a raft of details were unearthed over the weekend by a dataminer peering into this week's update for fellow COD titles Modern Warfare (2019) and battle royale Warzone, each of which will promote the new remaster.

Last night, a Twitter account which accurately dated Call of Duty Warzone stated Modern Warfare 2 Remastered had a 30th March release date - close, but not quite.

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Eurogamer.net: March 30, 2020 at 03:17AM - Last Oasis pulled offline days after rocky launch

Post-apocalyptic survival MMO Last Oasis is going offline for up to a week, after a launch marred by server issues left many unable to play.

Last Oasis debuted via Steam Early Access last Thursday, 26th March, but was quickly beset by server issues. Players reported being unable to load into the game due to severe wait times and server crashes. The few who did get in, however, reported the game itself a fun experience.

In a video post to Twitter last night, developer Donkey Crew announced the game would now be taken offline. All owners are eligible for "no questions asked" refund.

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Eurogamer.net: March 30, 2020 at 02:23AM - Long-running Official Xbox Magazine shuts down

The Official Xbox Magazine has closed down, Eurogamer has learnt.

OXM folded last week, with the magazine's last few remaining staff let go. Eurogamer understands OXM is one of six magazines closed at Bath-based media company Future, although it is the only gaming magazine among them.

The closure of OXM comes in the same year Microsoft plans to release its next console, the Xbox Series X. Just one day ago the OXM Twitter account advertised an OXM subscription.

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Eurogamer.net: March 29, 2020 at 09:35AM - GameStop is closing another 300+ stores this year

US specialist retailer, GameStop, has confirmed it's closing at least 320 stores over the next 12 months.

The company has already closed 321 stores as part of restructuring efforts in the financial year ending February 2020, and now a similar number of its 5,500 stores are expected to shut by the end of this financial year, too.

The closures come in spite of the company reporting a net income of $21 million (£16.8 million) at the end of the last financial year.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 29, 2020 at 08:34AM - These latest Fortnite glitches almost guarantee a win

Two new glitches have popped up in Fortnite - one is making players invisible, and the other permits the players to break the sky boundary, escaping not only enemy fire but damage from the circle, too.

As demonstrated by livestreamer LazarBeam (thanks, Slashgear), players that hide in a cardboard box and crouch whilst aiming the harpoon gun will remain invisible to opposing players.

Interestingly you can't use any other firearm - they'll be visible even if you're not - and canny players have already learned to be cautious of open cardboard boxes.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 29, 2020 at 06:44AM - Yes, Netflix's Castlevania is coming back for a fourth season

Netflix's animated Castlevania series is returning for a fourth season.

Making the announcement on the NXOnNetflix Twitter account - "Netflix's home of all things geek" - fans were encouraged to reply with clap emojis to summon Sir Mirror with news of the show. Naturally, they obliged, and just nine minutes later, this update appeared:

I know: it doesn't tell us much, does it? We'll have to wait for more concrete details but for now, all we can confirm for sure is that "season four is coming".

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 29, 2020 at 05:23AM - New Horizon Zero Dawn comic series will release later this year

Titan Comics has confirmed it's launching a new comic series based upon Horizon Zero Dawn.

As spotted by our friends at VGC, the comic book series has been co-created by Anne Toole - who is one of the game's original writers - with artwork from Ann Maulina. The story will take us beyond the events of the game.

"Talanah, a strong and determined hunter, struggles to find purpose after her trusted friend Aloy disappears," Titan explains. "When a mysterious threat emerges in the wilds, she sets out to hunt and to defeat it, only to learn that a whole new breed of killer machines stalk the land!"

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Eurogamer.net: March 29, 2020 at 03:53AM - "Upgraded" Nier Replicant announced for PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Square Enix has confirmed it is bringing an "upgraded" version of Nier Replicant to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

The remake of the decade-old action RPG was announced earlier today on a livestream celebrating the game's tenth anniversary. Whilst Platinum Games isn't involved in the upgrade - that's being led by Toylogic - Takahisa Taura, who worked as the senior game designer on Nier: Automata, is reportedly involved (thanks, Siliconera).

"NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139..., an upgraded version of the original, is now in development for PS4, Xbox One and Steam!" the developer said via the official Nier Twitter account. "Enter an apocalyptic world as you play as a brother on a quest to cure his sister of a deadly disease in this unique action RPG."

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 29, 2020 at 12:26AM - Who gets to write video game history?

In Spring 2016, I took part in a rather unusual archaeological dig. There was no dirt, no trowelling - in fact the excavation didn't even take place outside. It was just me, in my childhood bedroom, digging through old copies of Official Nintendo Magazine and realising that I could map my childhood obsession with video games from the stacks hidden in my bookshelf. Opening up an issue from February 2006 I found a feature lauding the mysterious new 'Nintendo Revolution' console and a caption jibing "Good looks and great to play with. Revolution sounds like our ideal girl." It's a window into a different time. 14 years later and some things have changed- we didn't get a Revolution, we got a Wii. I've grown up. Games journalism (for the most part) has too.

Back in 2016 someone else was also rifling through some old stuff in their house, but their discovery would draw more attention. Dan Tiebold found the last known existing Nintendo PlayStation prototype in his dad Terry's attic. The console represents a turning point for the games industry; Nintendo and Sony were to collaborate on an add-on to the SNES. Nintendo infamously snubbed Sony in 1991 when it announced it had instead made a deal with Phillips. Sony would go on to release its own console, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to 2020 and the Nintendo PlayStation was once again in the limelight as Terry Diebold put his up for auction. On March 6th, Greg McLemore paid $380,000 in total to get his hands on a piece of hardware that had been touted as priceless. As an archaeologist, I'm familiar with the buzz that can surround individual artefacts, and the cognitive dissonance on display in auction houses putting the hammer down on 'priceless' objects to the highest bidder. While I've been intrigued by the billing of the Nintendo PlayStation as a fable turned to fortune, I wondered what video game historians and preservationists made of the furore surrounding it.

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from Eurogamer.net

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Eurogamer.net: March 28, 2020 at 07:01AM - Capcom pulls Resident Evil Resistance open beta on Steam and PS4

Capcom has pulled the Resident Evil Resistance open beta on Steam and PlayStation 4 over technical issues that prevented players from finding games,

"We're working to resolve the issue as soon as we can and will keep you updated," Capcom said in a tweet. "Apologies for the inconvenience."

The Xbox One version of the open beta remains online.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 28, 2020 at 07:00AM - Great art and puzzles converge with real style in The Other Side

A magical door in a magical forest? Who can resist that? Not me, at least - particularly when the art has the style of those Atomic Age children's books from the US: flat, four-colour printing, a hero with a sort of Charlie Brown squiggle for a quiff, everything thick and dash and aching of mimeo-ink. Jeepers!

So yes, The Other Side is a puzzle game for smartphones with a killer sense of art. And it's wonderful to play with, too: a game about getting characters - sometimes one, sometimes more - to the door in a level and then on to the next one.

You do this by pulling them along on conveyor belts that move them and everything else that's on the belt with them - trees, bushes, water towers, bits of fence and chimneys. The twist is that various belts overlay each other, so you move a guy left, then get him onto a down belt, them move him down and along and...and...and... man it gets tricky fast.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 28, 2020 at 04:48AM - Netflix is making a Dragon's Lair live-action movie

Netflix has picked up the rights to a live-action movie based on Dragon's Lair, according to a new report.

The Hollywood Reporter said Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds is in talks to star in and produce the film.

Dragon's Lair began life as a popular '80s arcade game that caught the eye for its animation-style graphics, by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth, and laserdisc tech. In the game, protagonist Dirk the Daring is a knight who attempts to rescue Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe, who has locked the princess in the evil wizard Mordroc's castle. Gameplay wise, it's a rock hard interactive cartoon quicktime event fest, and looks like this:

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Eurogamer.net: March 28, 2020 at 03:00AM - The Almost Gone is a gorgeous little pastel nightmare

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

More and more it feels like games are oscillating between two different extremes, with twee comforts on one end and challenging, gritty-or-else pretense at the other. Or maybe I've just been playing too much Animal Crossing and Doom.

Still, at the very least it feels refreshing to play a game like The Almost Gone, a cutesy, pastel-pink diorama with a venom-green sting in the tail. Your mind will jump straight to Gone Home, when you first play it, which would be understandable but not entirely a justice. The Almost Gone is more subtle than that, more refined and more restrained.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 28, 2020 at 02:00AM - Dungeons of Naheulbeuk is an adorable XCOM-alike

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

An XCOM-style strategy game in a high fantasy setting is an idea that makes so much sense you've got to wonder why no one's come up with it before. Nothing says this kind of game has to be set in space, and Dungeons and Dragons, the tabletop game that started the collective obsession with strategic high fantasy RPGs, is a turn-based game that shares a lot of the same principles.

XCOM and DnD are inextricably linked, but it took me Dungeons of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos to actually realise that. I know - the name doesn't do it any favours. But it speaks to the game's slightly goofy charm, however unintentional - eager, sometimes a bit too much. This isn't a dark, epic kind of fantasy, it's the one where the demo starts with your party instantly cracking terrible jokes. All your DnD races and classes are there, and the sprites are very, very cute. The green troll looks a little bedraggled and has a snaggle-tooth poking out from under his lip. The dwarf has eyebrows so bushy they seem to cover his eyes.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 28, 2020 at 01:00AM - On Instagram a great illustrator is turning art into a game

I spent some of yesterday morning trying to draw a decent - or at least not entirely terrible - picture of a door handle. I've had this door handle for ages, completely unattached to any kind of door. 20 years ago I found it somewhere and put it in my pocket, and since then - warning: I am boring - it's become sort of a quietly magical object to me. I've kept it on bookshelves or in a funny box under the sofa in all of the houses I've lived in over the last two decades. I think if I ever moved and found that I'd lost it, I would be slightly winded, in a strange, silly way.

I've never tried to draw this thing before. And it turns out it's quite hard. I'm trying to do a drawing of it where I capture the entire outline of the shape without moving my pencil off the page. It's got to be an unbroken line. That's hard enough. Then the job will be to move into the outline, as it were, and do all the detailing. Tricky! This, I have been told, is not really a task about drawing anyway. It's a task about seeing.

This door handle thing is because of Quarantine Art Club, or maybe #quarantineartclub, which is the creation of Carson Ellis. Ellis is the writer and illustrator behind some truly glorious children's books. Here's a piece on Home, which is an absolute classic. Since we've all been locked down these last few weeks, she's been using her Instagram account to set people little drawing challenges. I appreciate this isn't strictly a game, but it seems game-adjacent at least. It's about creativity and play.

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from Eurogamer.net

Friday, March 27, 2020

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 12:28PM - Here's a look at Half-Life: Alyx being played without VR

It's been less than a week since Valve's seminal Half-Life series made its long overdue return in the form of the VR-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx, and, already, the race is on to get it running on a standard screen using mouse and keyboard. A fully playable version might still be a long way off, but footage has emerged offering a first taste of Alyx running outside of VR.

Valve New Network creator Tyler McVicker initially demoed the rudimentary VR-free version of Alyx, restricted to the most basic of interactions, during a data-mining livestream earlier this week. As McVicker explains in a new video, he was making use of a pre-release build of the game, mistakenly made accessible through Steam, that still included tools enabling developers to test Alyx without strapping on a headset.

However, even with these tools, says McVicker, Alyx without VR is still an incredibly limited affair. The traditional "use" key simply doesn't work as you might expect, and with no way to gain direct control of Alyx's hands, even some of the most basic interactions aren't possible.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 09:08AM - Someone's built the entire Earth in Minecraft - to scale

Seeing as nobody's going outside at the moment, it would be pretty great to have an entire version of Earth to explore in a video game, right?

Enter PippenFTS, a YouTuber who claims to have made a 1:1 scale version of the Earth in Minecraft for the very first time. It's been made possible through the use of two mods, Terra 1-to-1 and Cubic Chunks. As explained by PippenFTS, Minecraft normally has a height limit of 255m, which would have made full-scale Earth terrain impossible. Using Cubic Chunks "changes the shape of Minecraft chunks to 16x16x16 cube, giving you infinite build depth in both vertical directions".

"With the Cubic Chunks mod breaking Minecraft's vertical limitations, we can now experience the Earth in Minecraft, just as it is, with no downscaling of any kind."

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 09:00AM - Animal Crossing's big moment is magical and well-deserved

What a wild week it's been. I'm not talking about the obvious - I'm fairly certain you didn't come here to read about that - but more about the sweet phenomenon that's gripped players around the world. All day and all night my WhatsApp has been buzzing with friends and family members asking so many questions. What fruit do you have? Can you throw a few iron nuggets my way? Can I pop over to your island to grab a few things? And who the hell is that creepy sheep dressed up as a clown wandering around your town square?

To call Animal Crossing: New Horizons a success would be something of an understatement. In Japan it's established itself as the biggest Switch release yet, a mantle I'm sure it'll soon take elsewhere too. Screw the sales, though - in terms of buzz, I can't remember anything quite like it since Breath of the Wild. Current circumstances certainly play into that - this is escapism, pure and true - though Animal Crossing has been on an upwards ascent ever since its inception. That its moment has come now, when that escapism feels so vital, just makes it all the sweeter.

It's a far cry from the early days when Animal Crossing was a strange secret here in the west. It took just under a year for the GameCube original - itself an expanded port of an N64 game - to come to America, but more painful was the two years it took after that for it to make its way to Europe. I remember first reading about it in Edge around the time of the US launch and the concept - a game that moves in step with every minute and month of the real world - lodged in my brain until it became an obsession. It wasn't too much longer before a Freeloader turned up in the post along with a freshly-imported version of Animal Crossing and a brand new memory card that could play host to my village.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 07:00AM - Eldest Souls' first boss fight tells me it's a keeper

Souls-like games are sort of like Hilbert's Hotel by this point. You can't imagine ever needing another one, but then the right game turns up and you realise you've got a bit of room for it after all. Eldest Souls is a game I have room for. It's a pixel-art Souls-alike and all the parts are in place. Muddy environments, moody art and sound, a massive sword on your back and a stamina bar that you have to keep an eye on. All the parts are great. But then I reached the first boss fight and I realised - oh, this may be special.

Reader, I was flattened immediately. So I went back and was flattened again - maybe quicker this time. Then I started to use the recharging dash move to get in and out of danger. Lasted a bit longer but still flattened. Then I went away and sulked.

I came back the next day. And I started to notice things. Hey, the dash move doesn't come from my stamina pool. Hey, this comically large sword I have actually comes with a real bit of range. Hey, the charge attack actually slide me forward in a direction I can pick while it's charging.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 06:00AM - Gears Tactics is more Gears of War than you think

You can do the Gears of War slide into cover slam in Gears Tactics, and honestly that would probably have been enough for me to say 'yes please' to this spin-off. But the developers at Splash Damage haven't just plopped slide-to-cover in this top-down, turn-based tactical twist on gaming's most famous cover shooter. They've made it useful.

You see, if you slide into cover in Gears Tactics, your unit gets a little bonus distance. It's the game's equivalent of that cover-hugging crouch walk we're so used to seeing Marcus Fenix, the Cole Train and, more recently, Kait Diaz perform with the camera placed in third-person. And it tells you all you need to know about how Gears Tactics feels to play: yes, it's Gears of War meets XCOM, but Tactics wants you to keep pushing forward. It wants you to move your units up and get in the face of the Locust. As far as these sorts of XCOM-style turn-based games go, Gears Tactics is relatively fast-paced. Hunkering down and waiting for the Locust to swarm you will do you and your units no good. Best to take the fight to them.

Across the board the mechanics nudge you to go aggressive. Gears Tactics does not play out on a grid. The maps are open, and you can move your units anywhere, which lends movement a fluidity you don't often get from the genre.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 05:14AM - Mad Max, Lego Batman and Injustice 2 join the PS Hits lineup

A trio of games from Warner Bros. has arrived on the discounted PS Hits lineup from today.

Gritty post-apocalyptic collect-a-thon Mad Max, blocky superhero adventure Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and DC universe beat-em-up Injustice 2 are all now red-tagged and available for a reduced price of £15.99/$19.99.

These are the latest games to be given the PS Hits tag since God of War, Uncharted: Lost Legacy and GT Sport were added at the end of 2019.

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 05:00AM - Five of the Best: Specials

Five of the Best is a weekly series about the bits of games we overlook. I'm talking about potions, hubs, bags, mountains, anything really - but things we ignore at the time. Then, years later, we find they're cemented in our memory, inseparable from our experience of the game. Turns out they were important after all. So now we're celebrating them.

Five of the Best works like this. Various Eurogamer writers will share their memories in the article and then you - probably outraged we didn't include the thing you're thinking of - can share the thing you're thinking of in the comments below. We've had some great discussions in our other Five of the Best pieces. Some of you have memories like elephants!

Today's Five of the Best...

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from Eurogamer.net

Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 04:58AM - Call of Duty: Warzone makes loadout drops a little pricier

The first big update for Call of Duty: Warzone is here, and along with adding the new weapons announced earlier this week, the update has made some noteworthy balance changes. Namely, those loadout drops are a little more expensive.

As detailed in the patch notes, the price of loadout drops is being bumped up from $6000 to $8500. It's not a massive increase, but should require your squad to scrounge around a little longer for the necessary funds.

Loadout drops have previously been criticised for being too easy to attain: not only do they drop regularly in-game, but the original buy price was rather cheap. As the loadout drops allow veteran Modern Warfare players to bring over their loadouts from months of grinding multiplayer, it also felt a little harsh on new Warzone players. There's also an argument that RNG loot is a necessary component of the battle royale experience, prompting players to adapt and survive based on what they find - while the loadout drops made every round very similar, with players simply picking their favourite guns over and over. Hopefully the price increase should make loadout drops feel more like a high-tier reward rather than a necessity, although it seems one drop can still be used by the entire squad.

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Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 04:46AM - How to get into game journalism

For the last few years, I've appeared on a panel at EGX Rezzed to talk about how to get into game journalism. I love doing this panel, answering questions from the audience and chatting on-stage with my super cool colleagues about their personal journeys. So when EGX Rezzed was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, I was heartbroken at the thought we wouldn't be able to do it again this year.

Thankfully, the wonderful events team behind EGX Rezzed has pulled together Rezzed Digital, an online version of the show, and we're running the panel remotely. It kicks off at 1pm today, 27th March on YouTube, where I'll be joined by Eurogamer news editor Tom Phillips, Eurogamer reporter Emma Kent, and Rock, Paper Shotgun reporter Imogen Beckhelling to offer our advice and answer your questions. Tune in via the embedded video below.

A word on the Eurogamer internship. We've made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 internship until a point we feel it's right to do it. With all the uncertainty around coronavirus, we're not sure when that will be. But we are committed to the internship, we are proud of the interns we've worked with over the last three years, and it will return.

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Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 03:00AM - Shadows of Doubt is a head-scratching wonder of an immersive sim

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

You can't have a good detective game without a good mystery, and Shadows of Doubt has plenty of them. The biggest one rattling around my brain right now, though, is how is this possible? This is a work of staggering ambition and no small amount of artistry, presenting an evocative, fully-functioning cityscape for you to explore, complete with several intricate systems underpinning your sleuthing. I've played 20 minutes and I'm simply staggered.

So what exactly is it? Allow me to do the lazy journalist scum bit with a quickly-dashed-together comparison - Shadows of Doubt is like Thief in a trenchcoat and with a ketamine hangover. Okay, let's put a bit more effort in - Shadows of Doubt is a first-person detective stealth game set in a procedurally-generated noirish city. The art-style is exquisite, a lo-grade pixellated affair that sits perfectly with the subject at hand. It's fuzzy and gritty - the perfect texture for a detective thriller.

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Eurogamer.net: March 27, 2020 at 02:00AM - Rezzed Digital: Trials of Fire has that Slay the Spire magic

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

Yes finally! I found and killed the god, but it was a bloody close-run thing. Two of my fighters went down and the third, the only one left, wasn't far off joining them. One basic slice attack did it, with only a sliver of health remaining. Glory was mine, victory against all odds.

Yeah OK Bertie don't get too carried away, you've hardly finished the game have you?

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

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Eurogamer.net: March 17, 2020 at 10:30AM - Hello Games’...

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Why Can’t You Mix Blood Types?

There are several different types of blood.  Contained within them are different types of cells and countless molecules that give our bodies the needed nutrients to work effectively. The two main types of cells within the blood are red and white blood cells. Red blood cells make up nearly 45% of your blood volume. White blood cells make up less than 1%. What is left over is known as blood plasma, which makes up approximately 55% of your blood volume.

As to blood types, what type you are will usually depend on the types of blood your parents have, though there can be exceptions like if you receive a bone marrow transplant from someone with a different blood type, your blood type will eventually change, among some caveats like that.

As to why there are different blood types, this isn’t fully understood, though it’s been observed that different blood types play a role in your susceptibility, or lack thereof, to certain diseases and conditions. For example, malaria seems to have been a major contributor to type O being a major thing in places like Africa where about 51% of the populace have type O blood. As to why, it turns out for various reasons type-O blood will generally mean you won’t get as sick if you get malaria.

So what are all the blood types and what’s with the whole positive and negative thing?

There are 8 main types of blood separated into 4 groups, with over 90% of people falling into one of these main groups. The groups are A, B, AB, and O. If you’re now wondering why O and not, for example, “C” to make it A B C, it turns out it originally was called “C” but was later changed to the letter “O” in some regions or the number 0 in others, in both cases to signify zero or null, for reasons we’ll get into.

In any event, these blood types are grouped together by the presence or absence of what is known as an antigen. Antigens are substances within the blood that cause our immune systems to create antibodies- essentially used to recognize invaders. These created antibodies then send anything the immune system thinks is a threat to sleep with fishes.

The specific antigens that create the different blood types are found on the surface of red blood cells and are known as type A and type B. They’re further separated by the presence of another type of antigen known as rH factor. If you have this rH antigen present, you’re considered positive, if not, you’re considered a negative-nancy and nobody likes you- we’re looking at you, Jimmy.

Someone that has type A antigens and rH factor is considered to have type A+ blood. If you have both types of antigens and no rH factor, you have type AB- blood. If you have no A or B antigens then you are type O blood, hence the whole “zero” or “null” thing mentioned before.

All of this matters because of those antibodies your immune system creates. Someone with type A blood will at some point in their earliest months or years for trigger reasons not wholly understood develop antibodies for type B, and someone with type B will have antibodies for type A. Type O has antibodies for both A and B.

This brings us around to why mixing and matching certain, but not all, blood types in a person is a very bad idea. In a nutshell, if you were to give type B blood to someone who is type A, their antibodies for type A would attack the type A red blood cells causing unwanted side effects, including in the extreme various things like kidney failure as your kidneys try to filter out all the destroyed red blood cells. And, of course, regardless of this sort of thing, as you kind of need sufficient blood to keep living, if your immune system destroys a high enough percentage of what you currently have in your body, you’re going to have trouble continuing to be just for that reason, let alone the other complications.

But it’s not always a bad thing to mix and match. For example, disregarding a bit of a caveat about atypical antibodies and the like, someone with type AB+ can actually receive blood from every other main blood type. As to why, if you’ve been following along, this is because these individuals are characterized by having BOTH A and B antigens on their red blood cells, and thus cannot have either antibody in their plasma.

For this reason, those with AB+ blood type are sometimes referred to as universal recipients because they can accept blood from anyone (again, with the caveat about those atypical antibodies). However, the downside of this is that because of the presence of BOTH antigens on type AB red blood cells, people with AB+ blood can only donate blood to others with the same type, and AB- are only able to donate to AB+ or AB- individuals, but able to receive from any of the negative blood types, again with the aforementioned caveats which we’re going to stop saying, but just realize that’s a thing because the universe hates simplicity.

However, while AB blood type individuals can only donate blood to the same type, the reverse is true of plasma donations for them. This is because, again, AB individuals have neither A or B antibodies in their plasma. Thus, they are universal plasma donors.

On the other end of the spectrum, Type O , as noted, has neither A nor B antigens on its red blood cells, but both A and B antibodies in its plasma. As a result, those with type O- may donate to a person with every blood type, but can only receive O- blood since its plasma antibodies would attack anything else.

This is why, along with the fact that only 7% of humans are O-, those of the O- persuasion are highly encourage to donate blood often, first, potentially for themselves (which is particularly handy to do regardless of blood type if you know you have a major surgery coming up- this gets around any shortage issue, as well as gets around any of those aforementioned potential compatibility caveats.)

The second reason O- individuals are encouraged to donate often is, of course, because this can benefit most everyone. This is particularly the case when in an emergency there may not be time to figure out what blood type a person is and thus if O- is on hand, that can be reasonably safely used immediately if absolutely necessary.

If you’re wondering about the full list of main blood types blood and plasma compatibilities, we have these two charts where you’ll note they are more or less inverses of one another in terms of compatibilities between donor and recipient for reasons previously explained:

Moving on to white blood cells, there are 6 main types of white blood cells. They are: Neutrophils, Eosinophils, Basophils, Bands, Monocytes, and Lymphocytes. Each type plays a different role in the kind of infection your body is trying to fight. For example, Neutrophils kill bacteria by ingesting them (called phagocytosis). Naturally, if you have a bacterial infection, the percentage of neutrophils within your blood would be elevated.

On that note, in the general case, white blood cells number approximately 4-10 thousand per microliter of blood. If that number is increased, then you probably have an infection that your body is trying to fight and you are going to drop dead any… time… now…. Go ahead, we’ll wait…

As you might expect from this, when a doctor draws your blood to find out what’s wrong with you, it’s these levels of white blood cells that will help them narrow down the cause of your problem.

The last part of blood is the aforementioned plasma. This makes up most of your blood volume and about 90% of plasma is simply water, with another 8% of plasma made up of proteins, such as Albumin which helps move molecules like calcium and medications through your blood, antibodies that help with infection, and fibrinogen and clotting factors that help with the clotting of your blood.

The other 2% of plasma contains hormones like insulin, electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and nutrients like sugars and vitamins.

And one last little tip from the paramedic author of this particular piece- how to get blood stains out of clothes.

If you spill or otherwise get blood on your clothes when that special someone takes too long to die on his own, just soak it in 1 quart warm water, 2 teaspoons of laundry detergent and 1 tablespoon of ammonia for approximately 15 minutes. Then remove all the ammonia and launder it normally. (And note: don’t dry it until the stain is completely gone.) Bam! Your clothes will be blood free and the cops will never be able to link anyone’s death to you!

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

Bonus Facts:

Speaking of blood, a commonly touted idea is that de-oxygenated blood turns blue. It turns out, however, this isn’t true at all. The misconception that blood that lacks oxygen turns blue probably comes from the fact that veins appear blue and blood in the veins is typically heading back to the lungs, hence depleted of oxygen. It is also possibly from the fact that when people are suffocating or the like, their lips and complexion seem to turn blue-ish or purple.

As to why veins often appear blue in those of the fairer skinned persuasion, this simply has to do with that they are very close to the surface of skin, combined with the way light diffuses in skin of certain shades. More specifically, veins may appear blue in some people from the way subcutaneous fat absorbs low-frequency light. This permits only high frequency blue and violet wavelengths to penetrate through the skin to the vein, with the other wavelengths getting filtered off from the pigmentation of your skin. In fact, when skin is removed, such as when dissecting a cadaver, or when you’re giving that special someone what they deserve, the veins and arteries actually are a somewhat similar color.

A similar light diffusion process is happening when we see people who are suffocating and have purple lips and fingertips. In this case, the blood is so oxygen deprived that it turns an extremely dark shade of red. When the light diffuses through the skin of the lips or through your fingernails, it then often ends up looking very dark blue or purple.

In reality of course, blood is various shades of red, with the  red color primarily coming from the hemoglobin, which contains four heme groups. These heme group’s interactions with various molecules end up giving it the dark red or light red color we see, usually, with some caveats like with carbon monoxide poisoning, being lighter red when particularly oxygenated and darker red when it has less oxygen.

There are some creatures that have blue blood, for example horseshoe crabs, whose baby blue blood is actually worth around $60,000 per gallon… Why?

This is due to a chemical found in the amoebocytes of its blood. When this is exposed to a potentially dangerous foreign bacterium, it will immediately coagulate around the threat, rendering it harmless without actually destroying it. This effect is near instant and the blood can be used to detect a potential threat even if it’s diluted as much as one part in a trillion!

This effect is amazingly useful for detecting bacterial contamination in things like medicines and vaccines, or on medical equipment like needles, pacemakers, and numerous other items that are required to be sterile. In fact, no drug on the market today can be certified by the FDA unless it has been tested using this exact method (known as the Limulus amebocyte lysate test, in homage to the species of the crab- Limulus polyphemus). It’s by far the best way scientists are aware of for detecting whether a batch of medicine or vaccine has been compromised or not. As such, the blood of these crabs is worth a small fortune, selling for around $60,000 per gallon.

If you’re wondering how this blood is harvested, the crabs (over a half a million per year) are carefully picked up when they visit the shore for breeding purposes and taken in cooled trucks to certified labs where around 30% of their blood is drained, after which they’re returned to the sea. The blood cells are then separated using centrifugation. Next, the isolated cells are placed in distilled water where they will eventually burst, releasing the valuable chemical inside. After being purified, it is then freeze-dried and stored to be used for testing.

Approximately 85%-97% of the crabs harvested for this purpose survive and go on their merry way after, with the crab’s blood levels returning to normal in under a week.

Even with the relatively good survival rates, all of this may sound harsh. But there is one type of animal besides humans that, at the least, is glad this property of horseshoe crab blood was discovered in 1956 by Dr. Frederik Bang- namely, the rabbit.  Before the horseshoe crab blood method (LAL) of detecting microbial contaminants, a much less accurate and time consuming system involving testing on live rabbits was used. (In this rabbit pyrogen test, the rabbits were injected with a sample of the substance to be tested.)

The post Why Can’t You Mix Blood Types? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

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Eurogamer.net: March 26, 2020 at 08:19AM - Burnout Paradise and BioShock trilogy headed to Nintendo Switch

Today's mini Nintendo Direct brought with it a small flurry of Nintendo game announcements - but also many release dates for games already released elsewhere and now coming to Nintendo Switch for the first time.

Most exciting among them - the classic racer Burnout Paradise in its recent Remastered form (though there's no release date for that one yet) and the full BioShock trilogy.

BioShock will join a host of other games published by 2K - including XCOM 2 and Borderlands - all releasing on 29th May. This day will see the launch of:

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Eurogamer.net: March 26, 2020 at 07:29AM - Animal Crossing: New Horizons gets two free events next month

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was already providing us with a ray of sunshine in gloomy times, and there's yet more good news on the way, as the game is getting two free events next month.

The first, Bunny Day, had already been announced via the Japanese Nintendo website, but today's Nintendo Direct Mini revealed it in more detail. Players will receive a visit from Zipper the bunny, who will ask players to collect eggs from the island. Once you've, er, fished these eggs out from the sea, you'll be able to craft lovely decorations with them. Just don't mind the seaweed smell.

Bunny Day will be an annual event, so you'll want to hop into the game between 1st-12th April or face waiting another year. All you have to do is make sure you've downloaded the 1.1.0 update that's been available since launch.

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Eurogamer.net: March 26, 2020 at 07:00AM - Rezzed Digital: The Falconeer is absolutely majestic

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

Look at this world! When the clouds roll in, when the sun ignites the tips of the waves that roll and thunder and boom underneath you. Look at this world, when you arc in close to an island freshly delivered out of the mist and you see rickety bridges, broken temple spires, bundles of sticks lost to the froth and surf. Look at this world when you race up and the sky is everywhere, shifting from pearly dawn to burning dusk. Look at this world when you scud over the top of breakers and a whale erupts from the water and splashes back into the deep.

Before I play The Falconeer, I have a half hour chatting to its pretty-much-one-man-developer Tomas Sala over Skype. He looks breezy for someone who's just had a baby. In fact, perhaps breezy isn't quite right. There is a glorious mania here as he tells me about his last few weeks, but also about the world he is making in a back room filled with baby toys, about the bird he has made and the landscape it travels through. Cultures! Factions! Lore! I'm a lore guy, he says, and I believe it. He wants to show me the basics of this game, which is an aerial dog-fighting RPG affair set in a richly detailed fantasy world. But he also just wants to talk about what he's doing, I think. This game! This game is made of love. It is so obvious. Everything he tells me reminds him of something else he wants to tell me. Characters. Missions. Mechanics. Nested campaigns! A map of a world that takes a long time to travel across! The politics and customs!

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Eurogamer.net: March 26, 2020 at 07:00AM - Surprise! Watch today's mini Nintendo Direct here

Surprise! Nintendo has dropped what it has called a "mini" Nintendo Direct today, which you can now watch below in full.

The 28-minute broadcast is light on announcements of big new Nintendo games, though there are a few titbits for fans. First, it confirms the next Super Smash Bros. DLC fighter as an unnamed character from Arms (which Martin is very happy about) who will be detailed in full and released in June.

Second, that a new update for Animal Crossing in arrive in April that will feature everyone's favourite garden sloth, Leif (which I am very happy about). There's more on that here.

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Eurogamer.net: March 26, 2020 at 06:02AM - Rezzed Digital: Watch Ian play the new Control DLC at 2pm

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions, streaming games and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

Remedy's Control was one of last year's best-loved games, and today it gets a major story expansion in the form of The Foundation. As part of our online games festival Rezzed Digital, Ian was eager to get his hands on it start flinging desk drawers with his mind. You can watch his exploits below, live from 2pm today.

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Eurogamer.net: March 26, 2020 at 04:29AM - Gearbox co-founder Landon Montgomery has passed away

Landon Montgomery, known for co-founding Gearbox Software and his work on several major gaming franchises, has died.

The news was publicly announced via a statement on Gearbox's Twitter account, which said the studio was heartbroken to learn of Montgomery's death.

"In our earliest years, Landon played a big role in helping to set our path", the statement reads. "We will always be thankful and remember him for being a part of our lives. During this trying time, our thoughts, support and affection are with those who were closest to him."

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Eurogamer.net: March 26, 2020 at 04:02AM - Control developer Remedy inks deal for two more games

Remedy Entertainment, the brains behind games such as Control and Alan Wake, has signed a two-game deal with an unannounced publisher.

Both projects will be set within the same franchise - which, as yet, is unstated. One will be the studio's next AAA multi-platform release. The other is a "smaller-scale project".

Both are being developed using the studio's Northlight engine, which powered Control and Quantum Break.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Eurogamer.net: March 17, 2020 at 10:00AM - Riot launches...

Eurogamer.net: March 17, 2020 at 10:00AM - Riot launches Teamfight Tactics on mobile this week | https://buff.ly/2WqD2XF | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA, Eurogamer.net, gaming, nerdy, News, OurMisch…
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