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The Week In Games: Outta This World

The Outer Worlds comes out this week. For many fans, this is the true follow-up to Fallout New Vegas they’ve been waiting for. But it isn’t the only big and exciting game coming out this week. Get ready folks, it’s a busy week!

I have constantly mixed up The Outer Worlds and Outer Wilds when talking about these games with other writers at Kotaku. It doesn’t help that they are both games set in space and both are part of Xbox Game Pass. One day my brain will get this figured out, but for now, I have to double-check if I’m referencing the right game every time I write about it.

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As mentioned earlier, this is a busy week with games for everyone across all platforms. The Outer Worlds comes out this week, of course, but we also get some other big games. For wrestling fans, WWE 2K20 comes out this week. (Though that game sounds like a mess this year.) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare comes out this week too, with PS4 and Xbox One cross-play available right at launch. Wild! And for fans of remakes of old games, MediEvil comes out this week too for PS4.

And still, other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, October 21

  • Eastshade | PS4, Xbox One
  • Monaco: Complete Edition | Switch
  • The Forgettable Dungeon | PC
  • Mystery At Stonyford Bridge | PC
  • Mahjong Royal Towers | PC
  • ED-IT | PC
  • Return Of The Zombie King | PC
  • Zyxia: Neon Termination | PC

Tuesday, October 22

  • Street Outlaws: The List | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Beholder 2 | PS4
  • Mary Skelter 2 | Switch
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel III | PS4
  • WWE 2K20 | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers | PS4, Switch
  • Raging Loop | PS4, Switch
  • Skulllgirls 2nd Encore | Switch
  • Moons Of Madness | PC
  • Spin Rhythm XD | PC, Mac
  • Day And Night | Switch
  • Tangle Tower | Switch
  • The Park | Switch
  • PBA Pro Bowling | Switch
  • Knight Swap | PC, Mac
  • Flatland Vol.1 | PC
  • Outscape | PC

Wednesday, October 23

  • Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient | PC
  • Dredgers | PC
  • Norman’s Night In | PC
  • Dungeon Explorer | PC
  • House Of 1000 Doors: The Palm Of Zoroaster | PC

Thursday, October 24

  • Dark Devotion | PS4, Switch
  • Cat Quest II: The Lupus Empire | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Ghost Blade HD | Switch
  • Door Kickers: Action Squad | PS4
  • Lethis – Path Of Progress | Switch
  • Creepy Brawlers | Switch
  • OxLOGIC PUZZLE 1000! | Switch
  • Haunted Halloween 95 | Switch
  • Dark Veer | Switch
  • Anthill | Switch
  • Winter Sports Games | Switch
  • Vortex Attack EX | Switch
  • Rise Of The Slime | PC
  • Potion Paws | PC, Mac
  • Alpha | PC

Friday, October 25

  • Pixel Gladiator | Xbox One, Switch
  • Into The Dead 2 | Switch
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • The Outer Worlds | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • MediEvil | PS4
  • Soul Searching | Switch
  • Pizza Bar Tycoon | Switch
  • Ultra Off-Road 2019: Alaska | Switch
  • Let’s Sing Country | Switch
  • It Will Find You | PC
  • Space Road | PC
  • Survival Vacancy | PC, Mac
  • Coloring Game: Pixel | PC

Saturday, October 26

  • Daylife In Japan – Pixel Art Jigsaw Puzzle | PC

Sunday, October 27

  • Space Space | PC
  • Il Sole e la Luna 2 | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle For Neighborville Has So Many Great Ways To Play

There’s always something to do in Neighborville, the suburban wonderland that serves as the setting for the latest game in Popcap’s Plants Vs. Zombies third-person shooter spinoff. No matter which side of the conflict I choose, or what sort of competitive, co-op, or solo battle I dive into, the game never fails to put a smile on my face.

Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One following a four-week preview period for purchasers of the “founder’s pack.” It’s the third family-friendly third-person shooter from EA and developer Popcap Games. Neighborville abandons the punny “Garden Warfare” name of its two predecessors, which is good, as this is no Call of Duty parody. It’s a cartoony shooter with a focus on community and good-natured fun. The social hub, where plant and zombie players can fight and fool around between battles, is a literal carnival, with rides and everything. At the moment it’s Halloween themed. Who decorated it? I try not to think about it.

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The competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes are standard shooter fare with lush, vibrant Plants Vs. Zombies flair. I can fight for my life against other players. I can capture points and escort the payload. I can join a team of plants or zombies and fight against waves of computer-controlled enemies. It’s stuff I can do in other shooters, only instead of dark and gritty, it’s bright and fluffy. The silly setting and colorful combatants transform traditional third-person battles into ridiculous spectacles. Googly-eyed undead are pelted by corn kernels, peas, and seeds. Vibrant plant soldiers are mowed down by crackling electricity, hastily cobbled-together turrets, and other weapons of weird science.

There’s a solid third-person shooter under these layers of absurdity. Firing weapons is tactile and satisfying. Each of the ten characters on either side of the conflict has their own unique playstyle based on their special abilities and classification—attack, defend, or support. When the Sunflower is healing, the tank-like Citron is defending, and a couple of Peashooters are laying down heavy fire during a major multiplayer confrontation, it’s a beautiful, ridiculous thing. Plus it’s hard to get angry when your foes are so goofy.

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The colorful cartoon maps are the ultimate 3D realization of the PVZ style established back in 2009 with the original 2D tower defense game. Each stage oozes goofy character, hand-waving (or frond-waving) that distracts from the grim idea that the plants and zombies are fighting on battlefields abandoned by humans following some sort of undead apocalypse.

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I love this wacky animated fantasy world, which is why my favorite modes in Battle for Neighborville are the ones that let me relax and explore at my own pace. The social region, Giddy Park, is a place where players can meet up, spend in-game coins on cosmetic rewards, promote their characters when they reach new levels, or jump into the park proper for informal skirmishes with the enemy team. It would be the perfect place to advertise microtransactions, what with the giant “Mr. Reward-O-Tron 9000” gachapon machine front-and-center, but Battle for Neighborville doesn’t have any microtransactions. It’s not that kind of game. Rewards are bought with in-game currency, which can only be earned in-game. Sorry, big spenders.

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It is the kind of online shooter that also makes sure solo players have plenty to do. Both factions have two adventure zones, where solo players can play through a quest-based storyline or explore freely. Enemy encounters randomly occur as players explore, keeping the tension mildly high, but as every character in Neighborville enjoys unlimited sprinting, escape is always only a button away.

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These adventure zones are where I go to chill. More importantly, they are where I send my children when they get the urge to play. My eight-year-old son Archer can wander about the Western-themed Mount Steep for hours, dying and respawning, jumping off cliffs and giggling. Basically all the things he does when he logs into my Overwatch account on the Xbox One, only without doing horrible things like ruining my profile by goofing around or playing as Hanzo.

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Even better, should we ever have two Xbox One controllers not under the couch at the same time, the entire game can be played in local or online splitscreen on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. What the world needs now is sweet, sweet couch co-op.

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Plants Vs. Zombies: Welcome to Neighborville is literally fun for my entire family. I love to play. My kids love to play. My wife loves to … well, watch us play because she gets motion sickness from third and first-person shooters. She at least thinks the plants and zombies are super-cute, as do I. It’s the sort of game that makes me happy every time I boot it up.

Source: Kotaku.com

Shadow Of Tomb Raider Isn’t Getting A New Tomb, But Will Soon Be Free Of Unpopular Outfit Restrictions

There’s nothing like the announcement of a “definitive edition” of a game to wring some answers out of a game studio and their marketing team. And so, with the announcement of Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for November 5, we finally can stop wondering about two important Tomb Raider things.

1. Is there going to be a surprise eighth bonus tomb?

No, though it does sound like one had been considered. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released last September alongside the promise of seven more bonus tombs (each with an accompanying sidequest) for people who bought the season pass. Back in April of this year, the in-game menu that listed these bonus tombs started listing an eighth one as “coming soon.” No one associated with the game would ever say why. (We kept asking.)

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Today’s Definitive Edition announcement mentioned that the new release of the game will include “all seven post-launch DLC.” So, what was up with that eighth listing?

“With the release of our Season Pass’s final DLC ‘The Path Home’, the team wanted to explore the potential for additional content for our community,” a rep for the game told Kotaku today. “After careful consideration, the team chose to create the Definitive Edition outfit ‘Croft Fitness’ which will be available November 5th, 2019.”

No new tomb, but a new outfit instead. That’s not what the hardcore fans were hoping for, but at least everyone now knows. And it’s not like those seven other tombs didn’t amount to anything. Many of them were pretty cool.

2. Is the game ever going to lighten up with its clothing restrictions?

Yes. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is full of outfits for Lara Croft to wear. Some are the kind of hiking and hunting outfits you might expect to see on an athletic and deadly British treasure hunter. Others are tribal outfits meant to reflect the kinds of clothes that would be fashionable in the remote Mayan city that serves as the hub for a lot of the game. There are three dozen outfits in the game, only a third of them tribal, but players can only put Lara in the tribal outfits when she is in the game’s massive hub, but not when she’s in any other areas. This restriction has frustrated many players. After all, if you go through the trouble to unlock a new outfit in a game, it can be annoying to not be allowed to wear it, even in a game that stresses realism and cultural immersion as much as possible. Fans have repeatedly asked for this to be patched out.

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That restriction will be loosened for the Definitive Edition. “Players who have completed the game can choose to turn off outfit restrictions in the main game hub,” a rep said today. Anyone playing the game from the start will be forced to adhere to the old restrictions in their initial play-through but will then have more freedom in the endgame.

Changes made for the Definitive Edition will also be offered as part of a free update for Shadow of the Tomb Raider owners who bought the season pass. Those who have the game but don’t have the pass will be able to buy an upgrade to the full edition. It’s unclear if regular Shadow owners will get that outfit restriction change. We’re asking. Update – 6:00pm: A rep for the game confirms that everyone who has the game will get this change.

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And with that, one of gaming’s great 2019 mysteries is put to rest.

Source: Kotaku.com

Baldur’s Gate And Planescape: Torment Still Tell Stories Like No Other Games Can

With today’s releases of Baldur’s Gate games and Planescape: Torment for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, some of the most influential video games of the last 20 years complete a very long journey to the kind of wide audience they’ve long existed just outside. They’re also very old games that have spawned newer, flashier imitators, and they show their age.

This definitely makes them a little less appealing at first blush, but it’s worth stressing: If you’ve never played any of these before, it’s worth taking the time to experience them.

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Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II, developed by BioWare, and Planescape: Torment, developed byBlack Isle Studios, are computer role-playing games created by what were, at the time, dream teams of RPG designers at the top of their game. 1998’s Baldur’s Gate in particular revived and perfected the style of RPG that sought to closely emulate the experience of Dungeons & Dragons—wherein you gather a party of colorful characters and venture out into the world, taking on monsters and confronting moral dilemmas. One year later, Planescape: Torment bent that format into something more narratively ambitious, where fighting was allowed but it was more interesting to talk, to read, to ponder over dialogue and wonder how characters were connected. Torment, to this day, is widely regarded as one of the best video game stories ever told.

An increased development focus on consoles killed much of the momentum built by these games at the tail end of the ‘90s, even as Baldur’s Gate II released to even greater acclaim in 2000. As publisher Interplay ceased operation, the games went out of print and became difficult to run on modern hardware without fan mods. For a while, you could get them, but it took a lot of work—until 2012, when Beamdog Interactive began releasing Enhanced Editions of these classic games for modern devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Twenty-one years later, it certainly helps that the newest ports are—at least on PlayStation 4—surprisingly excellent, taking games designed for a boxy CRT monitor and refitting them to play well on my flatscreen and work with a controller. There’s some clunkiness—a lot of how you play these games involves navigating menus full of items and abilities and indicating where you’d like them to take effect, and that will always be clumsy on anything that’s not a mouse and keyboard. That said, I did play Baldur’s Gate on an iPad a few years ago, and while it was less than ideal, I played nearly the whole damn game.

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Planescape: Torment
Screenshot: Beamdog

As officially licensed Dungeons & Dragons games, they take settings previously published for tabletop campaigns in the late ‘90s and use them as the backdrop for epic single-player adventures. I did not know this for years until I finally played them, and knowing that is important for understanding what makes them special.

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In a way, it’s about limitations. A hallmark of tabletop role-playing has always been liberation, the way players are free to dream up and take part in adventure in ways that more rigid media like, say, video games couldn’t really allow for. While Baldur’s Gate is far from the first video game take on D&D (it’s not even among the first dozen) it kicked off an era of video games that achieved the platonic ideal of D&D-style role-playing, no dungeon master needed.

By this I mean: They told stories, good ones, in which the player felt they were truly taking part. Your decisions didn’t just matter, they colored the tenor of your experience far beyond the good/evil/neutral trinary of modern big-budget RPGs. They let you get inventive the way you could in a game of Dungeons & Dragons, tackling encounters however you liked as long as the dice rolled in your favor.

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Baldur’s Gate cast players as Gorion’s Ward, an orphan raised in a monastic life under the care of the scribe Gorion, suddenly thrust into the wider world when they learn that their real heritage might be connected to something monstrous. Of these three games, it’s the most straightforward, about going on a grand adventure and learning something about yourself. In Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, you’re asked a more complicated question: Now that you know what you are, what are you going to do about it?

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In Planescape: Torment, you’re The Nameless One, an immortal man stripped of his memories on a quest to piece his long life back together. Like It’s A Wonderful Life in reverse, you slowly become aware of all the lives you have touched in your journeys, and must deal with the fact that your personal history might have been an awful one.

All three of these games deal with themes of legacy and memory, which is potent fodder for a video game narrative. Games are about interesting decisions, the stories told by the choices that we make in them. Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment make this a literal part of the stories they tell, with a level of nuance rarely seen in games before them and since. In their spiritual successors like Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect, the stories are about how much you mean to the world. In Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment, it’s more about how you shape your character in response to these worlds. They resonate all the more for it.

Source: Kotaku.com

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Has Got Sonic In It

When the HD version of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz hits PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One on October 29, Sonic the Hedgehog is coming with, transforming bananas into golden rings on every stage he plays.

Sonic brings his signature speed and signature bling to the upcoming monkey business as an unlockable hidden character. Selecting Sonic turns the collectible bananas on every stage into rings, complete with classic ring-grabbing sound effects. He pretty much turns Super Monkey Ball into a glorified Sonic mini-game. The nerve of this guy.

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Not to be undone, AiAi and his friends get new unlockable costumes in the HD remaster, with outfits for every monkey on staff. Good for them.

Source: Kotaku.com

Microsoft Rolls Out Customizable Text Filters For Xbox Messages

Rolling out starting today to Insider preview members and coming soon to Xbox One owners everywhere, Microsoft’s new Xbox text filters give users the ability to tailor the level of offensive content they’re exposed to through private messages and, eventually, in profiles, clubs, and their activity feed. Don’t worry, “none” is an option.

Detailed in a post on the Xbox Wire website, the new “Message Safety” settings feature four levels of protection against offensive content. There’s “Unfiltered”, which just lets the profanity slide on through. “Medium” allows in some more common profanity while filtering harsher words or terms associated with bullying. “Friendly” is the lowest setting and the default for child accounts, automatically hiding profanity and offensive terms. “Mature” only hides terms and phrases Microsoft has determined are “almost always harmful” to those on the receiving end. When a message with offensive content per the user’s selected filtration level comes through, it is is automatically hidden.

Users can further tailor settings by applying one level of filtration to friends and another to strangers. Upon initial rollout, the filters will only apply to private messages, but Microsoft plans on implementing them across all methods of Xbox messaging, including Looking for Group (LFG) and Clubs. Some 21 languages will be supported at launch, with more added over time. The filters will work over PC and mobile Xbox apps as well as on the console.

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The new filters are the latest step in Microsoft’s plan to make online gaming more friendly and “less hostile”. Nice to see an added layer of protection from internet creeps being laid down. Microsoft might have done this sooner, but hey, better late than never.

Source: Kotaku.com

The extensive patch notes for The Division 2's big Title Update 6 have been posted by publisher

The extensive patch notes for The Division 2‘s big Title Update 6 have been posted by publisher Ubisoft. Overhauls to the game’s loot system are a big part of it, but this is also kind of exciting: “Added the option to add a dye to all armor pieces.” At last! The updates hit the game on Tuesday.

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Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Play The Witcher 3 Anywhere You Want

The Witcher 3 comes to the Nintendo Switch this week, and Geralt is ready to go on dark RPG adventures with you on the subway, in an airplane, or even in a bathroom. What a world we live in.

I can’t imagine The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt on Switch will be the best way to play the game, but I have to give credit to the developers. Being able to even get that thing running on a Switch is impressive. Sure it might look like a bit rough and blurry, but they did it. Congrats!

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Beyond The Witcher 3 hitting Switch this week, some other games are releasing, too. Not a busy week, for the most part. A small break before more games hit later this month. Overwatch also makes the jump to Switch this week and The Outer Wilds heads to PS4. There’s an Ice Age game coming out that looks like something you would play on PS2 back in the early 2000s. I’m…intrigued by that game.

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, October 14

  • Golf98 | PC
  • >Connect | PC, Mac
  • Yorg.io 3 | PC
  • The Quarry | PC
  • Detective Solitaire Butler Story | PC, Mac
  • Tank Impact | PC
  • Blood Runner | PC

Tuesday, October 15

  • The Fisherman – Fishing Planet | PS4, Xbox One
  • Children Of Morta | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Earth Defense Force Iron Rain | PC
  • Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Planescape: Torment/ Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions | PS4, Xbox One, Switch 
  • Outbuddies | PC
  • Overwatch | Switch
  • Outer Wilds | PS4
  • The Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition Pack | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Grandia HD Remaster | PC
  • The Witcher 3 | Switch
  • Disco Elysium | PC
  • The Eyes Of Ara | Switch
  • The Ninja Saviors: Return Of The Warriors | Switch
  • Override: Mech City Brawl – Super Charged Mega Edition | Switch
  • Billy Bomber | Switch
  • Morels: The Hunt | PC
  • Supesu 2 | PC
  • Galaxium | PC, Mac
  • Rebel Inc: Escalation | PC
  • Smile To Fly | PC
  • Active Neurons – Puzzle Game | PC, Mac
  • Cryptofall: Investor Simulator | PC, Mac
  • Sole | PC, Mac

Wednesday, October 16

  • Chernobylite | PC
  • Little Town Hero | Switch
  • Musasabi | PC
  • Ping Redux | PC, Mac
  • Shockrods | PC
  • Planet Destroyer | PC
  • ZHED – Puzzle Game | PC, Mac

Thursday, October 17

  • Felix The Reaper | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac
  • Kine | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Monkey King: Hero Is Back | PS4, PC
  • Stranded Sails: Explorers Of The Cursed Islands | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Stela | Xbox One
  • Little Big Workshop | PC
  • The Beast Inside | PC
  • Sea Salt | Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Demon Pit | PC
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes | PS4, PC
  • Summer Sweetheart | Switch
  • Domiverse | Switch
  • Rabi-Rabi | Switch
  • Battle Planet – Judgement Day | Switch, PC
  • Sublevel Zero Redux | Switch
  • SEGA AGES Ichidant-R | Switch
  • SEGA AGES Columns II | Switch
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 6 | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac
  • Where The Bees Make Honey | Switch
  • Minature – The Story Puzzle | Switch
  • Dark Miasma | PC, Mac
  • Rising Hell | PC
  • Cat Lady | PC
  • Six Ages: Ride Like The Wind | PC, Mac
  • Little Big Workshop | PC, Mac

Friday, October 18

  • Pig Eat Ball | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition | Switch, PC
  • Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle For Neighborville | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Return Of The Obra Dinn | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • A Hat In Time | Switch
  • Driven Out | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • AeternoBlade II | Xbox One
  • Megaquarium | Xbox One, Switch
  • Infliction | PC
  • Ring Fit Adventure | Switch
  • ZikSquare | Switch
  • Safari Pinball | Switch
  • StarBlox Inc. | Switch
  • Worbital | Switch
  • Medieval – Embers Of War | PC
  • Moo Moo Move | PC
  • Find The Treasure | PC, Mac

Source: Kotaku.com

Felix The Reaper Is A Tender Puzzle Game About Gruesome Deaths

Felix the Reaper is a puzzle game described by developer Kong Orange as a “romantic comedy about the life of Death.” That’s a pretty apt description, but here’s my crack: Final Destination meets Crypt of the Necrodancer (minus the rhythm element). The game, coming to consoles and PC October 17, bursts with wit and care in its puzzling, presentation, and even its tongue-in-cheek loading screens. Felix the Reaper’s story and simple showmanship elevate a decent puzzle game to something worth picking up.

Felix is a newbie reaper with the Ministry of Death tasked with creating contrived, deadly accidents using objects and creatures around the map. The gameplay takes place on grids that Felix can dance across. Felix must complete his tasks without getting burned by the light of the sun, using the shadows cast by static elements like trees and movable items like rocks to shield him. Felix also has the ability to use a sundial, which shifts the source of the light 90 degrees to change the way the shadows are cast. Elements like switches add to the complexity of the puzzles. The gameplay requires the player to think in perpendiculars and to creatively using objects around the field to manipulate space.

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The puzzles are clever, and there are optional objectives like clearing levels in a certain number of moves to spice things up, but the real heart of Felix the Reaper is its presentation. Felix is a dancing fiend; in his idle animations, he bops around gleefully while listening to headphones. As you move around the maps, he’ll cartwheel and jump and click his heels and do the twist. It is absolutely adorable, and it’s complemented well by the variety of music you can cycle through in each level.

The story is written with the warm, dark slice-of-life comedy of a Grim Fandango. Felix is utterly smitten with Betty the Maiden, who works at the Ministry of Life. This is communicated via charming illustrations of an earnest, infatuated Felix thinking of the voluptuous Betty with his face flushed like a 1930s cartoon character. He may be working at the Ministry of Death only for the chance to bump into her, which his supervisor warns him against. Felix’s comically earnest demeanor in the face of all the dark and occasionally adult themes in the game is deeply endearing.

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There’s a lot of story color in gameplay as well. In addition to menu-screen background information about the history of topics like religion and the Grim Reaper, there are intro scenes at the beginning of each level. In them, mute characters wackily go about their lives in a mixture of slapstick and worldbuilding. The tutorial has you kill your first victim, only for your helpful supervisor to receive an error message that you’ve killed the wrong person, which he brushes under the rug with the level of flustered embarrassment someone might experience committing a faux pas at a fancy dinner party.

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The silliness continues into the idea of death itself. There’s one early level in which you must rig a barrel to roll down a ramp, smash into a house, and knock a hanging deer head onto an unsuspecting person below. He tries to get the head off in panic, attracting the attention of a nearby hunter. You can imagine what happens next.

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Felix the Reaper brims with humorous representations of the macabre as a complex choreography of elements far beyond our control. Paired with the sweet romance of a simple reaper dancing through the afterlife while pining over his bombshell would-be sweetheart, the game uses its tone masterfully. As a puzzle game, it’s pretty good, and as a love story, it’s a little messed up, but that’s the appeal.

Source: Kotaku.com

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz Is A Lot More Fun Now That It’s Not On The Wii

Released for the Wii in 2006, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz got a lot of flack for its unwieldy motion controls. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, due out October 29 for the PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One, has no motion controls, and it’s much better for it.

Who doesn’t love steering monkeys encased in transparent spheres through a series of increasingly complex roller-coaster style levels? People using Wii remotes, that’s who. As cool as it was to have 100 new game levels and a whopping 50 motion-controlled mini-games in the Wii release, the frustration of trying to control AiAi and friends by using the Wiimote to tilt the game world negated a lot of the game’s charm.

Mind the low voice volume, new mic.

Stripped of its clumsy motion controls (even in the Switch version), Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is a much better way to enjoy one of the more unique entries in Sega’s primate sphere series. Features like jumping and boss battles were new to the series in Banana Blitz, and now a lot more fans will get a chance to check them out.

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From what I’ve played of the Switch version so far, the game is a joy. AiAi, MeMe, Baby, and crew look ridiculously happy to be rolling about and collecting bananas, and their enthusiasm is infectious. The music, which is mostly new due to licensing issues with the original, is bubblegum goodness, mixing island instruments with a little ska sensibility. And while the HD version only has 10 mini-games, most of the 50 in the original were geared towards Wii remote controls and not all that entertaining.

Taking a cue from the Persona school of making menus.

Sega hasn’t done much with Super Monkey Ball since the Wii. Some monkey cameos in other games, a couple of handheld titles, and a bunch of mobile stuff, but nothing substantial on a dedicated gaming console. Maybe if Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD goes over well, that will change. I can think of worse fates than having too many Monkey Ball games to play.

Source: Kotaku.com