Following on the heels of Fire Emblem Warriors, a port of the popular Zelda X Dynasty Warriors crossover Hyrule Warriors will be arriving on Switch sooner than expected. You’ll be able to rumble with Linkle, Ganandorf, and the rest of the gang on the go (but probably better than the 3DS version) on March 25.

You can check out our review of the original version of Hyrule Warriors here.

The first paid DLC for Splatoon 2 has been announced. The single-player Octo Expansion puts you in the shoes of the mysterious Agent 8 as you work to regain your memories.

The expansion features 80 test facilities connected by a subway. If you complete the expansion’s content, you can join the base game’s multiplayer matches as an Octoling. In addition, Nintendo promises that the expansion will dive deeper into the lore of Splatoon’s world. Those who preordered Splatoon 2: Expansion Octo on the Switch eShop will receive Octo Headgear and clothes to use immediately in multiplayer.

In addition to the paid expansion, Splatoon 2 is getting version 3.0 update. The update adds 100 new, as well as three new stages: Piranha Pit, Camp Triggerfish, and Wahoo World. Competitive players will also be able to earn a new rank: Rank X.

Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion launches this summer for $19.99. while the free 3.0 update is hitting late April.

At the end of today’s Nintendo Direct, the company revealed a short teaser video announcing a new Super Smash Bros. game for the Nintendo Switch.

The video featured Inklings shooting and swimming through ink in a white void-like area mirroring the original Splatoon announcement trailer, though this eventually grows dark. The female inkling takes notice of the burning Super Smash Bros. logo – a circle with two intersecting lines – as a large crowd gathers in front. Quick flashes seem to show Breath of the Wild’s Link and a quick cut to text.

In an email, Nintendo said “The Super Smash Bros.
series comes to Nintendo Switch in 2018. The teaser trailer featured
recognizable faces like Mario, Link and the Inklings from the Splatoon
series.” 

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What characters do you want to see in a new Smash Bros. game? Let us know in the comments!

From picking noses to dodging hotdogs, a collection of WarioWare games is coming to 3DS.

WarioWare Gold contains 300 micro games, making it the biggest collection of games in the series. The micro games are both familiar to fans and brand new. They utilize the 3DS functions from the touchscreen to the microphone.

WarioWare Gold launches August 3.

DIllon Dead-Heat Breakers, a tower-defense action hybrid, is coming to the Nintendo 3DS on May 24. This time around, your Mii character will be able to join Dillon’s squad to help him take down monsters and save the frontier.

A demo for the game will be available in the e-Shop on May 10 and releases in full on May 24.

GameCube classic Luigi’s Mansion is coming to 3DS. The title originally launched on GameCube in 2001, and 3DS received a sequel called Dark Moon in 2013.

Luigi’s Mansion features the green-clad Mario Bro searching the eponymous haunted mansion looking for Mario. This version also features a boss rush mode.

Luigi’s Mansion is coming to 3DS later this year.

PUBG Corporation and Bluehole have unveiled their roadmap for content in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, including two new maps, emotes, outfits, and more.

The developers are experimenting with a 4×4 kilometer map, a smaller size that they explain is designed to facilitate a faster and more intense battle royale experience. The map is themed after a tropical jungle and they hope to get it on the test server as soon as next month.

A second map double the size of the jungle one is also in the works. There’s no information about it yet, but the developers want to involve player feedback as early as possible.

You can also look forward to some tinkering with the game modes. Though they didn’t supply any details, PUBG Corp. are looking into the various ways they can play around with the formula. New weapons, attachments, and vehicles are planned this year, with vehicles getting the first priority in the first half of this year and weapon-related items being sprinkled throughout the second half of the year.

New graphical overhauls will be hitting the game to give buildings a more unique look, as well as tweaks to audio to make it more responsive to your surroundings, especially for vehicles.

Finally, the developers want to make changes to parachuting unarmed combat, but were sparse on details of both. While this roadmap is for the PC version of the game, most changes and additions should eventually float to the Xbox One version, which is balanced separately.

[Source: PUBG Blog]

 

Our Take
I am most curious about what changes they are making to game modes. While they’d never outright say it, I suspect they have noticed that Fortnite is riding a wave of popularity right now, and are looking to see if they can integrate those changes in PUBG.

A great headset can make or break multiplayer experiences. We’ve all been in competitive matches where a teammate’s background noises like a baby crying drown out everything else you can hear, or been knifed in the back by a sneaking soldier when peering out a building window toward an objective while using a chintzy pack-in headset that comes with a console that didn’t alert you to their presecnce. That’s why such a strong market has developed offering quality gaming headsets. 

New features in high-end headsets has largely stagnated in recent years, but a new contender has emerged boasting hardware expertise and armed with years of collected data from the best esports players about how they’d like to see the technology improved. Victrix‘s first offering is the Pro AF ANC, a $300 headset available for pre-order now that applies best-in-class thinking to comfort, quality, microphone performance, and even noise canceling. 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been kicking the tires on a beta version of the headset, and it’s quickly become my favorite option. The sleek, purple aesthetic stands out from the sea of blue and green Sony and Microsoft themed headsets on the market. The spring steel headband and aircraft-grade aluminum make this one of the more sturdy headsets I’ve ever used without sacrificing comfort or sitting too heavy on your head. In fact, Victrix adds an unprecedented layer of comfort with a novel cooling mechanism that lets you drop the humidity in your cans to room level by popping open mechanical vents. When the vents are engaged you can also chat comfortably with those around you, which esports players will appreciate when trying to strategize or taking coaching pointers in between rounds. 

Ambient noise can pose a problem whether you are in the midst of a crowded esports event or gaming in a bustling household, which is why Victrix doubled down on both its microphone technology and active noise canceling. One of the company’s financial backers also works with McDonnell Douglas, which enabled Victrix to lean on their helicopter engineers and pilot expertise for designing mics for use in loud areas like a copter cockpit. The result is a microphone that uses a patent originally intended for Cobra helicopters that uses passive filter design and an elegant mic shield to block out ambient noise while preserving the speech integrity of the operator. During my use over several rounds of Rainbow Six Siege, teammates didn’t hear any noises other than my voice frantically yelling the positions of encroaching enemies. 

The first of its kind in gaming headsets, the Pro AF’s active noise canceling mechanism uses four microphones (two internal, two external) to identify sounds to block. Victrix claims it can eliminate up to 70 percent of environmental noise. The in-line controller also allows you to toggle the ANC on and off, customize the headset lighting, adjust mic gain, or hit mute. Victrix also developed two gaming-friendly audio modes – one that accentuates sounds in your immediate surroundings, and one that gives you a fuller audio sense of the battlefield. The latter is especially useful when moving in enclosed spaces where enemies could come from multiple directions.

A metal clip lets you attach the in-line controller to your pants or belt. This was the weakest part of the Pro AF design in my experience; its rounded design means it’s prone to turn away from you depending on how it rests on your leg, and this is exacerbated by the thick cords that can make it even harder to get the controller to lay flat. 

With crisp sound, great microphone performance, and luxury features like the active noise cancellation and cooling mechanism, the Victrix Pro AF ANC is an impressive gaming headset. The cost is steep, but compared to other headsets I think the quality matches the price point. Many esports teams have taken note of this new headset contender, such as Team Kaliber, who just took back to back CWL trophies in Call of Duty: World War II. Victrix is now the official headset for the team. 

Starting today, Victrix is taking pre-orders for the Pro AF ANC that slash the price from $299 to $199 for early adopters. The company is limiting this initial offering to 4,000 headsets, so move fast if you want to take advantage of the deal.

The Pro AF ANC is just the opening salvo in Victrix’s assault on gaming peripherals. Starting in June (when the Pro AF ANC pre-order models ship), Victrix will also start selling a $199 base model that does not include active noise-canceling, Later in the year, it plans to launch officially licensed PlayStation and Microsoft models of both headsets, as well as a “TeamAmp” boasting similar design sensibilities as the headset that can help esports organizers ensure good audio with team voice links and broadcast-ready output modes.

The first three Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Story games are releasing on the Switch eShop in both Japan and the U.S. on April 26, Bandai Namco has confirmed.

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Story Trilogy is landing on a Nintendo system for the first time and includes 1, 2, and 3, but not 4 or the Road to Boruto DLC made for UNS4. You can check out the trailer for the collection before.

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Bandai Namco has also confirmed that the game is running at 540p in handheld mode and 900p docked. The trilogy features the costume DLC, but the trailer specifies that not all DLC is included.

 

Our Take
I like these games’ story modes, but that resolution makes the package seem really undercooked.

Year Three of Rainbow Six Siege kicked off with a bang this week, driving back players to the game in record concurrent numbers thanks in part to a new cooperative component called Outbreak. This wild departure for the Rainbow Six franchise introduces a supernatural threat to the tactical shooter that feels more like a Left 4 Dead expansion than anything tied to the Tom Clancy universe.

A dramatically divergent offering, Outbreak doesn’t do anything to bring back the old-school Rainbow Six fans who long for the carefully planned missions and measured tactical engagements of the past. With its adoption of G.I. Joe-style hero characters and now a full-on zombie-outbreak theme, it’s clear Ubisoft is comfortable evolving the series away from its military-sim roots and moving more toward the comic-book end of the entertainment spectrum. 

This trio of cooperative missions takes place in the small rural town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. After a mysterious probe crash lands and a virus starts infecting the populace, Team Rainbow is sent in to neutralize the threat. The virus turns humans into a variety of grotesque mutants, each with a unique attack style. Grunts charge and swing their sharp tentacles wildly, while the agile, wall-climbing Breachers detonate to inflict massive damage or take out your fortifications. Most missions culminate with showdowns against dangerous bosses like the towering Smasher or formidable Apex, which can cast waves of enemies your way and momentarily blind operators with a projectile. The visual design of these enemies is impressive – I’m surprised how much attention to detail went into a mode that only lasts a month –  and learning how to prioritize threats as they swarm is key to surviving.

Rather than give players access to the full list of operators, Ubisoft restricts it to 11 characters (two being the new operators introduced in Operation Chimera, Lion and Finka). Fan favorites like Ash, Buck, and the hapless Tachanka are among the options, and some have been tweaked to give them more offensive punch. For instance, defenders who normally have defensive tools like razor wire swap them out for grenades. 

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While the supernatural enemies and truncated operator list may be drastic departures, the mission objectives stay much closer to the Rainbow Six norm, like planting detonation charges to wipe out a nest, escorting a doctor through an infested medical facility to gather critical supplies, and finding the source of the outbreak. All three environments are much more open than the typical Rainbow Six Siege map, giving players the freedom to take their fights outside should the close quarters of a ramshackle house get too hairy. Curiously, the story never culminates to a natural endpoint where the outbreak is neutralized or spreads beyond the confines of the quarantine zone. Perhaps Ubisoft intentionally left Outbreak open-ended, giving it the flexibility to extend the narrative should it resonate with players. 

Missions alternate between attacking and defending sequences. After shooting a path to your objective marker, you have a split second to fortify your position with wall fortifications and barricades before the enemy onslaught begins. Having at least one operator who can bolster your defenses is a wise move considering some of the more formidable infected eventually make their way into these cramped quarters; anything you can do to stymie the initial onslaught before the heavies arrive helps immensely. Given you’re always setting up a defensive perimeter on the fly, Ubisoft wisely sped up the time it takes to set up barricades. Just like the competitive multiplayer, the pulse-pounding action keeps you on your toes and demands communication between teammates to survive, especially on the Pandemic difficulty setting that enables friendly fire and adds a larger number of deadlier enemies to the fray.

Missions take about a half-hour, but the rewards are curiously stunted compared to the competitive multiplayer. Earning only 300 renown for completing your objective feels like a rip-off, and may discourage players from sticking around to play more. The only tangible rewards outside of paltry renown gains are a handful of Ubisoft Club challenges that yield Outbreak-themed charms.  

Taken at face value, these new cooperative missions are a welcome curveball for the series. I doubt many players will continually replay Outbreak given the meager rewards, but it’s a fun change of pace nonetheless. If you like the sound of playing through a Left 4 Dead style mini-campaign (hey, at least someone is carrying on that tradition), you have 25 more days to check it out before Ubisoft retires this limited-time engagement. And that’s the most curious decision Ubisoft has made with Outbreak. This isn’t a small development investment like adding the Predator to the pre-existing world in Ghost Recon Wildlands; the amount of work that went into its level and creature designs seems dramatic for an event with such a short shelf life. Making the mode permanent, continually adding new content, and pairing it with terrorist hunt could open the game up to a new audience that prefers cooperative experiences to core competitive multiplayer.