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2018-08-17T03:00:27.407Z
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The Puppet Master series has been consistently running for almost 30 years. With The Littlest Reich, there are now 12 films to the slasher franchise. And with that many sequels comes a precipitous drop in quality and budget down to one film only shooting 30 minutes of new footage. It hasn't been great. But when you reach these kinds of lows, you can only go up from there, right?

Yes. Yes, as it turns out you can. Watching an army of Nazi toys kill droves of people in brutal and disgusting ways has never been so fun. I dare say that Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is the best Puppet Master movie of all time.

Bold words, I know.

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I have this weird relationship with Steam sales. The large seasonal sales offer so many games that I struggle to find anything of interest. But the smaller scale sales? I can't stop myself from falling for them over and over and over again, no matter how large my backlog gets.

The newest Spike Chunsoft sale this weekend is no exception, let me tell you.

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Sometimes we do a contest where we give away digital prizes, like game keys. Other times, we give away physical stuff, like t-shirts. Occasionally, we give out really unique things, like the chance to get your name in an actual, real-life video game.

Today, we're going to give out everything I just listed above, and more!

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Sim game developer Twice Circled has moved from the world of pharmaceutical conglomerates to fish keeping. The studio's next title, Megaquarium, is a tycoon game about running a public aquarium.

A lot more work goes into keeping a healthy fish tank than most people seem to realize, so I think this will be trickier than the cutesy aesthetic and seemingly straightforward subject matter imply.

Running an inefficient aquarium is easy. To really thrive and take on the greatest challenges you’ll need a lateral thinking brain and attention to detail. Will you group your animals by food type, water quality or something else entirely? Will you locate your equipment in a centralised hub using pumps or spread them out embracing the zoning system? How will you optimise your layout so that visitors can find your tanks and staff can easily access them?

You'll have to concern yourself with staffing, bookkeeping, and designing an optimal layout, but the management aspect I'm most keen about is meeting the animal care requirements. There are "almost 100 different marine species" to choose between and they all have specialized needs. This was always my favorite part of Zoo Tycoon, so I'm happy to see more games of this particular ilk.

Megaquarium will launch on Steam in just a few weeks on September 13. I want some garden eels!

While many of you may have given up on Pokemon Go, Niantic has continuously brought update after update out to expand the content of the game. After introducing mythical Pokemon Mew with the research update, it looks like Gold and Silver's mythical creature is up next. Starting next week, players that finish the second round of research tasks will be able to add Celebi to their collection.

This isn't the first time Celebi has been available, as the creature was available last month for fans that attended the Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago. If you happen to be one of the lucky few, completing this new series of tasks will reward you with candy to power up your Pokemon. Niantic is also saying that other Pokemon from the Johto region will be available in game, likely hinting at legendaries that will be hiding in raids.

Celebi will be available starting on August 20 along with a free t-shirt you can dress your avatar in.

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You can't bring up Burnout Paradise without inciting a "which is best?" series debate, but here goes. The PC version of Burnout Paradise Remastered is coming to Origin on August 21 with 4K support and prior DLC packed in (Big Surf Island, the Party Pack, Legendary Cars, Toy Cars, and Boost Specials).

It's normally $20 on PC, but if you're a veteran player, you can upgrade for $5. (Click the link up top.)

Also worth mentioning: you can play Remastered early if you're an Origin Access or Origin Access Premier subscriber. The former includes a 10-hour trial, while the latter comes with the full game.

While I've played enough Burnout Paradise for one lifetime, I ended up nabbing Remastered as a way to screw around online with co-op challenges. If you've never tried those, you're missing out. It's a small miracle that I've never gotten a ticket IRL from driving fast when Guns N' Roses comes on the radio.

Criterion Games [Twitter]

Look, I'm a person who believes in second chances. While I did take issue with the writing, characterization, fight choreography, camerawork, racial politics, and literally everything from the first season of Iron Fist, I'm willing to let bygones be bygones. Luckily, this new trailer for season 2 has some cool stuff to show off.

After a generally uninspiring first trailer for the season, this new look gives us a better idea of Danny Rand's (Finn Jones) headspace. Taking Matt Murdock's role as the protector of Manhattan (dammit The Defenders, why did you say "protector" instead of "defender?"), Rand has some new challenges, namely his old friend and now enemy Davos (Sacha Dhawan) who has taken the identity of the Steel Serpent. Glowing fists all around.

Danny and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) will be getting some support from Misty Knight (Simone Missick), finally forming the Daughters of the Dragon duo. Overall, the action in the trailer looks much more coherent than that of the first season, not to mention more brutal and bloody.

Cross your iron fingers that Marvel's Iron Fist will make a comeback when it begins streaming on Netflix this September 7.

Hey kids and kiddos, it’s Smash time, and that means it’s Dr. Mel time, and that means I’m gonna write some stuff for this website. I used to do this more frequently, but I’m a busy boy!

Anyway, we got to see five new additions to the roster and have yet to get any play time with the characters outside of the footage shown in the Direct and from the official website’s mini trailers for each character. However, we can still deduce the character's movesets based on the general language of the game.

So without further ado, I’ll outline the observable moves, surmise their properties and abilities, and maybe do some other speculation along the way. This could all quickly become outdated info, so that’s why I decided to put it out post-haste!

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Can you feel it? The watchful eye of Big Brother sees all. It knows where you hid all of your minion memes, and saw you watching that Fortnite streamer when you thought no one would see you. It knows everything, and now you can too for the perfect price of free.

Like Papers, Please before it, Orwell puts you in the seat of a low-level worker for an overbearing government. Except instead of choosing who is allowed into your country, this time you are listening in on your fellow citizens' private conversations and correspondences for the greater good of national security.

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I'm honestly shocked at how popular id Software's perennial classic Doom has been. While work is currently underway on a sequel to 2016's Doom, fans are still passionately making map packs and add-ons for the original games that put id Software on the map. Not content to let that passion die, modder SergeJkn has just released a brand new mod titled "Annie" unto the world. Coming out after 12 years in development, the first of four episodes can now be downloaded for your enjoyment.

The mod gets its title from the storyline contained within its levels. The UAC (United Aerospace Corporation) has captured a Spider Mastermind named Annie and is attempting to re-engineer her to fight for them. I'm pretty sure you can guess what happens next, as this is a Doom mod after all. The official description reads, "As the only surviving member of your squad, you made your way into the nearest complex, hell-bent on shutting down the entire installation and facing the biggest threat that mankind has ever known..."

"Annie" comes to life thanks to the GZDoom source port. This allows for a lot of complex graphical elements that are impossible on the original Doom engine. Many newer mods (such as Brutal Doom) make use of this and push id's classic beyond what was ever capable in the '90s. Even without running on the original code, I'm still blown away by the fact that Doom is getting new mods in 2018....

It's always nice when game developers donate a portion of their proceeds to charity, but it is especially nice when the charity in question deals with an affliction that the game touches on. It really makes the charitable act feel like it is coming from the heart and not being used to get good PR.

Ninja Theory donated all of the proceeds from the sale of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on World Mental Health day, as well as another $25,000 when it reached 50,000 game sales on Xbox One. The cancer treatment allegorical adventure game I, Hope donates all of its proceeds to children's cancer treatment and research. Now, Delve Interactive is stepping up with a game about homelessness with plans to donate a portion of its proceeds to homeless charities.

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Anodyne launched some five years ago on PC to a decent enough reception. Fans were hungry for more Zelda-like experiences and developer Analgesic Productions was happy to oblige. While I didn't personally like it (I'm a huge Zelda nut), Anodyne went on to win some awards and has become a cult classic. Oddly, it has remained on PC and smartphones for the last five years, but that is about to change.

Starting next week, Anodyne will be making the jump to PS4 and Xbox One. It will have a staggered release in different regions, first coming to North and South American PS4s on August 18 and ending with a worldwide release for Xbox One on August 21. You'll be able to grab Anodyne for $9.99/€9.99 from your respective digital storefront.

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PlayStation VR hasn't exactly set the world on fire, but it continues to do well for Sony. The headset has cleared 3 million sales, and folks have purchased 21.9 million PlayStation VR "games and experiences."

More interestingly, Sony has come out with the top 10 most-played games:

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
  • PlayStation VR Worlds
  • Rec Room
  • Resident Evil 7
  • The Playroom VR
  • Job Simulator
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
  • Batman: Arkham VR
  • Farpoint
  • Superhot VR

These are among the best games for the platform, and most of them have been available for a while now, so there aren't really any surprises here. I mean, Skyrim VR totally would top the list.

I feel like I haven't touched my PlayStation VR in months, which is a shame because I'm still very fond of the platform (especially as a big-glasses wearer). The last game I was into was WipEout Omega Collection in March, and Moss before it. The continual cookie-cutter shooters aren't doing it for me. Looking ahead, Ubisoft's puzzle thriller Transference and the sublime Tetris Effect stick out most.

I'll be fine with my investment in PlayStation VR even if we never get another Resident Evil 7-caliber experience, but I do hope the device has more life in it before Sony makes a new model.

Celebrating 3 Million PS VR Systems Sold [PlayStation Blog]

Road Redemption, the Road Rash inspired motorcycle brawler, is heading to consoles in the very near future. TripWire Interactive has announced that the game will be heading to Xbox One, PS4 and Switch in fall 2018. This new port will retain all of the PC version's features, which includes a full campaign mode with four-player split-screen support and an online multiplayer component.

While I was never huge into Road Rash back in the day, I certainly found Road Redemption enjoyable. Co-op, in particular, is a riot and I could see that being an absolute joy on Switch.

There's about to be a good reason to travel back to the land of rats. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is getting its first DLC in less than two weeks.

Developer Fatshark has announced that the Shadows Over Bogenhafen add-on will launch on August 28 on PC and Xbox One. That's literally the extent of what we know. There aren't any real details and there isn't yet a price. Fatshark says it'll reveal more closer to launch, which almost certainly means a gamescom-focused reveal next week.

In the meantime, this teaser trailer has some fireworks. Maybe the loud noises will scare the rats away.

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Occasionally, retro-publishers Hamster drop a title onto modern platforms that raises an eyebrow. I'm not sure where the market necessarily lies for Front Line, for example. But today is not one of those days, today sees one of the greatest fighting games ever made, SNK's Garou: Mark of the Wolves, burn a trail onto PS4 and Xbox One.

Originally released in 1999 for the arcade and Neo Geo home format, the eighth installment in the Fatal Fury series remains SNK's masterpiece, challenged by very few titles - before and since - as the greatest of all-time. Garou gathers faces old and new to engage in intense combat. From the beautiful, fluidly-animated sprites, to the awesome score, detailed stages and beyond reproach fighting mechanics, Garou is essentially a flawless fighting game. It was then and it remains so today.

Featuring Terry Bogard (sporting his cool re-design), badass son-of-Geese, Rock Howard, Griffon-headed wrestler Tizoc and the super-sexy, adventurous pirate B. Jenet, Garou has a wonderful cast of characters and an easy-to-learn, but incredibly deep, fighting system. Fatal Fury has never been better. Hell, SNK has never been better.

Sadly, this release is a straight arcade port, and as such contains no online play, nor any of the features that arrived when Garou was ported to PS3 and Xbox 360 last generation. Still, as an eight bucks, bare-bones title for you and your buddies to gather around, it's still a bargain, if a disappointing portent of what...

With a simple click of your mouse, you could help bring down the price of The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep. In the month leading up to its release, developer inXile Entertainment has launched a unique marketing initiative where players can reap substantial rewards.

Starting today, inXile will track the number of times The Bard's Tale IV is put on users' wishlists on both Steam and GOG. There are cumulative milestones for this initiative. At 100,000 wishlists, the torch from The Darkest Dungeon will be added to The Bard's Tale IV. At 300,000, the price permanently drops from $40 to $35. If it hits 500,000, the price permanently drops to $30 and a new add-on called The Haernhold will release for free.

There's something of a trade-off happening here. Anyone who wishlists will probably end up with a convenient reminder email anytime The Bard's Tale IV goes on sale. It's a savvy tactic that gets the game in front of people now, and, if they put off buying at launch, it gets the game in front of them later too. But, there's an immediate 25 percent price cut and some free DLC. The pros are going to outweigh the cons for most people.

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Stardew Valley publisher Chucklefish sure can pick 'em. The company's latest selection is Inmost, a story-driven puzzle-platformer from Hidden Layer Games that looks astounding in motion.

I'm getting a nice Another World vibe from the way gameplay and cinematic sequences intersect.

As you might've noticed in the footage, Inmost has a trio of protagonists. You'll need to keep all of them safe from shadowy beasts. "The narrative is intricate and set across two worlds, weaving together a tale of suffering, sacrifice and a family stuck in the middle of it all," according to Chucklefish.

What else can I say? This looks fantastic. It's currently targeting a PC release in 2019.

The battle royale sub-genre is a harsh mistress. So many titles enter the ring, but it seems like only two big-wigs can remain popular. Once poised to be a direct competitor to PUBG, Hi-Rez Studio's Realm Royale isn't looking so hot anymore. A spin-off of a game mode from Paladins, Realm Royale released into Steam early-access in June and saw a pretty sizeable player base grow around it. Peaking at around 105,000 concurrent users, the game has now shed around 93% of that community.

While the remaining player base is hardly a graveyard, it doesn't bode well for the future of Realm Royale. Around 3,000 players are currently active, which is enough to populate a 100 man match, but could spell trouble if the game continues to hemorrhage players. The biggest culprit for this decline seems to be how unbalanced the game is, according to Steam user reviews.

There is also the lack of focus from streamers, as GitHyp points out. Similar to the rise and fall of Realm Royale's player numbers, streaming views peaked at around 150,000 in June and have fallen to a few thousand now. About the only thing retaining interest for many streamers is the official $100k tournament for Realm Royale hosted by Skillshot Media and KEEMSTAR, which sees Twitch juggernaut NINJA participate.

The game is unlikely to die overnight, though. Hi-Rez Studios still has the successful Paladins to fall back on and there are plans to bring Realm Royale to consoles, where it could very...

It's over, folks. After a month of wondering whether Disney would reinstate James Gunn, the company has reaffirmed that Gunn would not be returning to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. 

This news comes after a meeting between Gunn and Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios. According to Variety, the meeting was civil, but the consensus remained the same: Gunn would not be back to helm the final Guardians movie. President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige was not at the meeting, but expressed his support for Horn's decision.

Gunn was infamously fired from the project after several years-old distasteful tweets Gunn made were brought back into the public eye. Many of said tweets were ill-advised jokes about rape and pedophilia, making Disney's immediate response to can Gunn understandable, considering the company's squeaky-clean brand.

Many members of the cast, including Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, implored Disney to bring Gunn back as director via an Instagram post penned and signed by Pratt and several other cast members. However, it seems that despite causing Disney some bad press, their show of support failed to change the heart of the mouse. Production on Guardians Vol 3. is slated for 2019, but with only a few months left in the year, Disney will have to find someone to direct the film quickly. Maybe Ron Howard's still around?

Personally, this isn't the outcome I'd hoped for. Gunn's tweets are trash, but bending to...