Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy is certainly the most sentimental version of these characters I’ve encountered. Across the scope of five episodes, Telltale’s interpretation maintains the goofy scoundrel vibe the series has become known for, but the bigger focus falls on the the character studies of these emotionally damaged heroes, as each tries to come to terms with their own individual pasts. While the final chapter struggles to find its footing for its first half, I’m pleased that all the character arcs do come full circle, and the season closes well.

As Episode Four concluded, our ragtag heroes had inexplicably broken up the band, for reasons that felt more than a bit contrived. Sadly, that contrivance drags down a good chunk of episode five, with a labored effort to pull the group back together through short vignettes interacting with the wayward characters. Even in these conversations, the Guardians seem to struggle to articulate why they were so angry before, and there’s little drama to the conversations. 

Thankfully, Episode Five perks up once the crew is working together once more, and heads off to tackle a final galaxy-spanning threat. We’re treated to a big set-piece battle against the vengeful Hala. The team assaults her ship, and we send each ally to an appropriate task, then hear from them briefly as they complete their assigned project. While the sequence would have felt more impactful if we cut away to play out the encounters for each of them, there’s still a sense of cooperation and camaraderie to the scene. 

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That infiltration culminates in the most enjoyable action sequence of the series; Heart’s “Crazy On You” wails in the background as the combined might of the Guardians attempts to bring down the big baddie.  If you’ve been playing along up to this point, you know what to expect from the button prompt sequences, and Episode Five certainly doesn’t do anything to change minds. The movement and battle sequences remain the weak point in this and each of the previous episodes, but a little licensed music can do wonders to ratchet up the fun, as it does here. 

At times over the course of the season, Telltale’s Guardians are more emotionally overwrought than seems entirely necessary, sometimes flying off the handle or crumbling under pressure too many times to maintain significance or relevance – like a soap opera in which the leads are always at some profound crossroad. Even so, this last episode manages to bring everything to a head in a satisfying way, and as players, we’re given the chance to define the relationships between the heroes. A powerful theme drives its way home in the final scenes – the tragedies and losses of our past may shape our outlooks, but there are always opportunities to form new friendships and families that carry us into the future. 

While many aspects of the story are on a linear path, the consequences of some defining choices do echo into the season’s end, including a few important characters being alive or dead. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that Guardians of the Galaxy offers a particularly compelling spread of choices across its many episodes. Instead, the biggest selling point of the season is the opportunity to glimpse some backstory for these popular superheroes, and explore the interpersonal dynamics that those histories have on the team. If that sounds appealing, there’s good reason to give Guardians a shot. The action may be lackluster, and the path through the story may not be filled with surprises, but I did manage to care how it all shook out for this mismatched squad of heroes, and that’s more than I can say for a lot of video game characters. 

Crawl, the competitive dungeon, uh, crawler, is releasing on Nintendo Switch on December 19, just in time to mock and humiliate your friends and family around the Christmas tree.

The game is an asymmetric multiplayer title where one person spelunks through the dungeon as the traditional hero and up to three other players essentially play as the dungeon in the form of monsters and traps to stop the erstwhile hero.

You can check out the game’s original launch trailer below and start imagining how exactly you’re going to stop people from stealing all your dungeon treasure.

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Square-Enix brand manager Shinji Hashimoto, whom you might best remember as the man who laughed really loudly on stage after unveiling Final Fantasy VII’s PC port on PlayStation 4, has assured Final Fantasy fans that 2018 is going to be a big year for the series.

In an interview with Square-Enix-owned Youtube account Edamame Arcade Channel , Hashimoto was asked about what 2018 holds. Hashimoto, ever the tease, stated that all of the studios that make up the Japanese publisher are gearing up for a big next year.

Hashimoto followed up, saying ““Next year will be a big one, and we will bring exciting, new Final Fantasy titles to the world.”

Square-Enix just shipped the Comrades expansion to Final Fantasy XV, the multiplayer DLC to last year’s single-player game, of which you can find our impressions here. The final piece of character story DLC, Episode Ignis, arrives in December, as well.

You can see the interview below, in English. What expectations do you have for Final Fantasy games in 2018?

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Our Take
Square-Enix has a lot on their plate, but hopefully they can deliver a spectacular 2018 for all their series. Like it or hate it, Final Fantasy XV sold incredibly well, so I imagine the publisher has a lot of big plans for the brand next year.

Epic Games said it wasn’t going to let Fornite cheaters slide, and last month, it proved just that by filing lawsuits against people who allegedly helped people cheat in its free-to-play game. Today, a letter to the the U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina revealed that one of those individuals is a minor. The mother of Caleb “Sky Orbit” Rogers wrote a letter informing the court of the age of her 14-year-old son, saying Epic broke Delaware law by revealing a minor’s name publicly in its suit. In it, she also writes that she never gave consent for her child to participate in Fortnite, which Epic requires for the game.

The letter also states that Caleb gained the cheats from a public website and livestreamed it, thus Epic should be going after the website and not her son. Epic Games also cannot prove her son modified the game in any way himself, as the lawsuit alleges. She also brings Fortnite’s Battle Royale’s free-to-play status into the discussion, saying this makes it impossible to prove her son caused any “profit loss” and states since no purchase occurred her son is off the hook. “Epic Games Inc failed to legally bind underage users with their EULA agreement, which is a contract between the licensor and purchaser, establishing the purchasers’ right to use the software. This being said, the game itself was in-fact free. No purchase of said game occurred,” she states. 

Caleb Rogers admitted on his YouTube channel to cheating and has since been posting videos defending himself against Epic Games. Epic Games is seeking the maximum of $150,000 for this incident. 

We reached out to Epic Games for a comment to clarify its position, to which we received this response:

“This particular lawsuit arose as a result of the defendant filing a DMCA counterclaim to a takedown notice on a YouTube video that exposed and promoted Fortnite Battle Royale cheats and exploits. Under these circumstances, the law requires that we file suit or drop the claim. Epic is not okay with ongoing cheating or copyright infringement from anyone at any age. As stated previously, we take cheating seriously, and we’ll pursue all available options to make sure our games are fun, fair, and competitive for players.”

Fortnite is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Right now, the game is still a work-in-progress, with Battle Royale mode being freely accessible. A full release of the game is expected in 2018. You can read the full letter at the source below.

[Kotaku]

 

Our Take
There’s a good chance that Caleb Rogers’ case gets dismissed. Epic Games probably didn’t realize he was a minor when it filed suit. That doesn’t mean cheating shouldn’t be cracked down upon, as it ruins the game for the players who actually follow the rules. Bans have been ineffective at solving this problem entirely, which I’m guessing is why legal action appealed to Epic. Time will tell how it all shakes out.

What The Heck Is This? Episode 16

We cover a lot of big, well-known games here at Game Informer. Thanks
to these efforts, you (hopefully) know all about the next big
franchise, or the highly-anticipated new game from that notable indie
developer What about those random games that fly under the radar? The
one among the dozens that release every day on Steam? Or that Xbox One
game with the weird title? This new video series is an attempt to
highlight those games – for better or worse.

We see these type of games all of the time. The game that we look at
and say, “What the heck is that?” This is our chance to play them and
decide, on the spot, if we want to keep playing them, or move on to to
something different.

In episode 16, we are a realistic fish with laserbeams for some reason in Ace of Seafood and for part two, we spend a lot of time exploring creepy woods with our brother in Unforgiving – A Northern Hymn.

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Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 |Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7
Episode 8 | Episode 9
| Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16

As we reported last week, Marvel Heroes Omega would close sooner than expected, with the entire staff of Gazillion let go. 

Today, we got official confirmation that Gazillion Entertainment has indeed shuttered via Marvel Heroes’ official Twitter. 

With the official announcement of the closure, the free-to-play action/RPG can no longer operate and will cease operation on all platforms immediately, which include PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. Originally, players were told December 31 was the cut-off for Marvel Omega Heroes, but that’s no longer the case given the circumstances. 

The goodbye tweet, which you can see below, thanked fans for their support.

The news came right before the Thanksgiving holiday, devastating the staff, who said they were told no severance or PTO would be paid out.

[Source: Marvel Heroes’ Twitter]

 

Our Take
It’s always sad to see a studio close and watch people lose their jobs alongside a game ending its run earlier than promised. We’re wishing the best of luck to everyone who was affected by this closure, hoping they land back on their feet as soon as possible. The news isn’t surprising considering what we heard earlier, but this makes it official, ending any speculation about Gazillion or Marvel Heroes’ future.

The wheels on the Pokémon Go wagon keep on turning.

As a result of dedicated players’ hard work for catching over 3 billion Pokémon in the Global Catch Challenge, a new legendary Pokémon is now in raid battles at gyms around the world. That’s right, for a limited time, you can battle Ho-Oh.

Recently, The Global Challenge awarded players for their efforts with a bunch of perks beyond just Ho-Oh, from earning double XP to unlocking Farfetch’d.

Players have until December 12 to go on the legendary raid to prove themselves against Ho-Oh. 

[Source: Pokémon Go Official Site]

Bungie game director Luke Smith promises to dive deep on the system-level changes in Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris update next week, and talk to fans about their concerns regarding the game.

In recent weeks, Bungie has been livestreaming the higher-concept aspects of Destiny 2’s first expansions, Curse of Osiris. They’ve shown off some of the story and campaign, demonstrated the new Mercury location and Infinite Forest repeatable actions, Legendary Strikes, and more. However, much of the joy (and frustration) in Destiny 2 lies in how the game’s gear and token economy works. Today Smith tweeted that next week, the team will outline the updates they plan to make to “vendors & acquiring their gear, tokens, legendary shards, investment updates (new reward systems for weapons & armor) gameplay updates, and more.”

Smith and Bungie project Lead Mark Noseworthy will also take questions and talk about “community feedback we’ve been reading since launch.”

Whether this explanation will be part of the next weekly stream, or its own separate event remains to be seen, but it’s likely the two will be rolled together.

 

Our Take
Something tells me this is going to be a big moment for the Destiny 2 community. Fans (including Game Informer’s own Matt Miller) have been crying out for weeks about Destiny 2’s myriad endgame issues, from the way earning tokens feels like gambling to how the weekly milestones systems offers diminishing returns for those who want to keep playing after they’ve gotten all their Powerful Gear Engrams. This stream will be Bungie’s first big attempt to assuage those frustrations and let fans know how much of the feedback they’ve taken to heart. If Bungie’s talking points on this end come off as meager or tone deaf, it could further frustrate a community that loves their game of choice but is having issues enjoying as much as they’d like to.

Sonic Forces didn’t exactly re-ignite the Sonic Franchise the way Sonic Mania did (you can read our review to learn where the former falls flat) but one of its unique aspects is how it let players create and customized their own characters. Today, thanks to some new “dank” (or whatever the kids call it) and free DLC, fans can now make memes a part of their created character’s identity.

The “Sanic” T-shirt was found within Sonic Forces’ files a little while ago, but is officially available as of today. T-shirt features a crudely-drawn rendition of the blue blur of a bright green background. If you don’t know what a Sanic Hegehog is, I advise you to A) Stay pure, for the love of all that is holy and B) Make sure to turn down the volume on your speakers or headphone while Googling, and be careful out there!

[Source: Sonic The Hedgehog On Twitter]

 

Our Take
This is an unhealthy proliferation of the “gotta go fast!” mentality, which simply isn’t true. You can go at whatever speed you like.

Cuphead is a gorgeous, tough-as-nails platformer that demands proper timing, patience, and perseverance in order to get through its difficult bosses. You could say it’s the Dark Souls of platforms (but you really shouldn’t).

Well, now Dark Souls is the Dark Souls of Cuphead, or something. Youtube channel 64 Bits has created Cupsouls, a short cartoon which transforms imposing bosses like Ornstein, Smouth, Quelaag, and more and reimagines them as Cuphead-style single-screen encounters. The animations are no slouch, either, and you can tell a lot of work wen into making sure both series got the proper respect they deserve in the video below. No, there’s no actual game on the way and no, that’s not going to stop us from wanting it.

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