Nintendo is really into killing the Mario Bros. lately and it’s now the red one’s turn with a new costume added to Super Mario Odyssey. The zombie outfit has now been included in a new update, which puts the hero of the Mushroom Kingdom in an undead outfit right out of House of the Dead.

The outfit consists of a body piece, which includes a more blood-colored red shirt and torn up overalls, as zombies will tend to have, and a head piece which is just an axe. It’s an axe in Mario’s head. Just…stuck in there.

There are also new camera filters being added for Manga, Tile, and Kaleidoscope filters. The manga one looks especially cool.

You can update the game now to check these out, though the zombie outfit requires you finish the main story first. Super Mario Odyssey was released one year ago on the Nintendo Switch. 

I think we can generally agree, regardless of the political divide, that it is important for politicians to be honest. Do they care about what they say they care about? Are they going to do what they say they’re going to do? Do they care about Pokémon? Finally, we can at least check off one President from that mental list we’ve all been keeping for that last answer: president Barack Obama does not care about Pokémon.

In a video with ATTN, the former leader of the free world sat down to counter the biggest excuses for not voting. The very first comment Obama reads is from someone saying they do not care about politics.

“Look, I don’t care about Pokémon,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean it won’t keep coming back.”

He mispronounces Pokémon, but I feel like that’s fair in a sentence where you’re telling people you don’t care about it. If anything it reinforces that point.

There’s a lot of our readers who also do not care about Pokémon, or they care about Pokémon a lot, but they should still research voting all the same. Whether you agree with the people giving the message or not, encouraging voting itself is not a political stance. Earlier today, we posted the article “Gamers Should Be Voting, So Why Aren’t We?” which is recommended reading.

What I do not recommend is getting mad at people that encourage voting. That is weird for a number of reasons.

There’s probably a tough side to managing some of the biggest and most well-loved IPs in gaming, something Blizzard is learning as speculation grows rampant ahead of their annual Blizzcon. There’s a lot of speculation for what Blizzard might announce this year, especially rumors centering around the possibility of a Diablo IV, and Blizzard is eager to tamp down on those expectations.

In a blog post today, Blizzard danced around mentioning Diablo IV, but made certain that people expecting it to be announced at Blizzcon in early November should not be so certain of it.

“We know what many of you are hoping for and we can only say that ‘good things come to those who wait,’ but evil things often take longer,” the studio wrote on its website. “We appreciate your patience as our teams work tirelessly to create nightmarish experiences worthy of the Lord of Terror.”

Fan speculation has been swirling since Blizzard announced earlier this year that they were preparing for multiple projects in the future of the Diablo series, which at least in part seemed to be the Switch port of Diablo III also coming November 2, the first day of Blizzcon. Combined with Diablo-centered merchandise at the show and some odd scheduling of Diablo-relevant panels after the show keynote, some fans believed that Diablo IV was an inevitability at the show. Blizzard, realizing that, has come out to keep people’s expectations in check.

For now, your Diablo fix will have to be satiated by the two decade’s worth of games already out.

 

I actually really like that they got out ahead of it to say it won’t be there. A lot of companies would try to ride the hype without saying or doing anything and then fans would be disappointed. It might not be their fault, but it’s good of them to just say “Hey, this isn’t happening now, so let’s enjoy the show for what it is and we’ll get there eventually.”

Loot boxes have always been a controversial topic, but one proposed step forward with them is to surface the odds for what you get. The thinking goes that, if people saw how little a chance they had to get an extra rare item, they might decide not to bother with it. Now, Dota 2 is doing exactly that with a new change to its treasure drops.

“We’ve also taken this opportunity to simplify and rework the way we calculate escalating odds for this treasure and going forward,” Valve wrote in a blog post. “You can now click on the escalating odds arrow next to each of the rare, very rare, or extremely rare drops to see the exact odds of receiving them based on how many you’ve already opened.”

In the larger scheme of loot box discussion, this move by Valve seems to be trying to cut off other solutions of how drops are handled. By voluntarily surfacing them, as is required in some other regions, it might keep the revenue source while stopping loot boxes from being reclassified as gambling in a majority of regions.

The new update for Dota 2 is live and includes some other features, like the ability to trade unwanted items and shuffle item sets.

Aloft Studio has announced that its 16-bit action title, Hazelnut Bastille, will launch its Kickstarter campaign in less than a week. The developer had previously announced that Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta is contributing to the soundtrack.

Hazelnut Bastille takes direct inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Aloft hopes to stay true to the style through visuals, soundtrack, and overall level design. The story focuses on a young girl on a quest to a far-off land to retrieve something that was lost to her. Looking at the trailer below, it’s easy to see and hear the Zelda inspiration.

The Kickstarter campaign is set to launch on October 23 at 8 a.m. Eastern and will run through November 29. You can watch the first full trailer for Hazelnut Bastille below.

Hazelnut Bastille is currently set to release on Switch, PC, Mac, and Linux. Additional platforms could be added depending on the success of the crowdfunding campaign; a PS4 release is currently a stretch goal. If you want to keep in the loop about Hazelnut Bastille or try a free demo, head to the official website and sign up for the newsletter.

At a launch event yesterday, purveyor of Android phones Huawei announced several new products for different phone preferences in their flagship line, the Mate series. The Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro are fairly standard phones in terms of feature set, but Huawei’s Mate 20 X is a gaming-focused phone that intends to muddy the line between phones and dedicated handhelds. While the mind immediately leaps to the Switch as competition, the company made it clear: the Switch is their competition and they want you to know the 20 X is better.

The presentation was given by Huawei’s technology and mobile experience executive, Richard Yu. When revealing the 20 X, Yu outright showed slides of the Switch, with a large captions that compared details like battery life and resolution, outright using the words “Better Portable Game Machine.”

Yu emphasized that mobile controls were now a solved problem by the Mate 20 X’s gamepad add-on, a shell/dock for the phone that resembles a large, square joycon or, perhaps more accurately, the 3DS’s much-maligned Circle Pad Pro attachment

One interesting thing to note is that Huawei did not emphasize the graphical capability of the phone when comparing it, though there could be a number of different reasons why. While phones might have no problem keeping up with the Switch graphically, heat and battery concerns would likely override any need to do so. It also makes sense that the future of phone gaming, at least as an emulation of the console experience, might be in things like Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Project Stream rather than onboard graphics.

Regardless, it is interesting to see Huawei take such direct aim at Nintendo, currently the only player in the non-mobile handheld market, rather than compare itself to other phones. As the Switch grows in popularity, perhaps this will be something that more companies feel appropriate to do.

Square Enix’s The Quiet Man, an extremely odd single-sitting narrative adventure beat ’em up, will be getting its main title theme from Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter Imogen Heap. Nothing more is known about the track, but Square Enix insists they will give more details at a later date.

It was also found by Gematsu this week that The Quiet Man will be playable with sounds and speech in subsequent playthroughs. The first playthrough of the game has no sound or dialogue that lets the players interpret the story in their own way. If you want to know how it was actually written, you can play the game a second time. From a Square Enix stream, the publisher said they want the player to understand what it is like to be deaf, like the protagonist Dane.

The Quiet Man releases on PlayStation 4 and PC on November 1.

The temperature is dropping, pumpkin-carving pictures are everywhere, and there’s an entire aisle in the grocery store dedicated to candy; it must be time for Halloween! If you got caught up playing the multitude of incredible games that hit this month and forgot to shop for a costume, don’t worry! We’ve combed the Internet looking for the absolute coolest video game costumes available this year. The list has Zelda, it has Overwatch, and so much more in between. Be the coolest person at the party or find the best costumes for your child’s trick-or-treating adventures in the list below.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Ciri Cosplay Costume ($83.05)

Persona 5 Protagonist Phantom Thief Cosplay Costume ($81.86)

Bloodborne The Hunter Cosplay Costume ($182.99)

Breath of the Wild Zelda Adult Costume ($39.99)

Adult Jacob Frye Costume Assassin’s Creed ($79.99)

Mercy Costume Deluxe The Signature Collection – Overwatch ($199.99)

Reaper Costume – Overwatch ($69.99)

Brite Bomber Costume – Fortnite ($59.99)

Overwatch Genji Classic Boys Muscle Costume ($39.99)

Child Deluxe Zelda Costume ($29.99-$49.99)

Toddler Deluxe Pikachu Costume ($19.99-$24.99)

Interested in digital Halloween costumes? Game Informer just ranked the best spooky skins in Overwatch, covered the potential Fortnite seasonal leaks, and revealed how Splatoon 2 is getting into the spirit of the season. 

Atlus has released new trailers for the upcoming Persona rhythm games, Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight. Both games had focuses on teams of teenagers coming together in shadow-busting groups, with Persona 3 establishing the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad, or S.E.E.S, to solve the mystery of the midnight hour.

Check out the Persona 3 Dancing trailer below.

Similarly, Persona 5 had the Phantom Thieves, who stole hearts to reform society’s adults and admit their crimes against others. You can check out their trailer below.

Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight are being released December 4 on PlayStation 4 and Vita. The PlayStation 4 version is getting a bundle of both games, which includes a PS4 remaster of Persona 4 Dancing if you want the entire series on the console.

When considering the latest game release, many players excitedly discuss the opportunities for interactive engagement in their latest purchase. Did you go renegade or paragon? Did you roll a paladin or mage? Which party members did you take into the final encounter? We’re fascinated by the chance to express a choice, and see that decision reflected in the resulting scenario. And yet, if we’re to believe demographic data, when it comes to expressing choices at real-life polls in the United States, much of the game-playing public simply doesn’t show up.

At this point in the history of the medium, gamers come from every walk of life and every age group. But among adults, the percentage of engaged gamers still skews toward the younger end of the spectrum. In a 2017 Pew Research Center study, 60 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 said they played games regularly (that drops a bit to 53 percent of those between 30 and 49). Compare that with the last midterm voting cycle from 2014; the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement found that only 19.9 percent of people aged 18 to 29 voted in that election. While we don’t know the exact overlap between those statistics, the numbers certainly suggest that the same people playing the most games are the people casting the fewest votes.

One of the most common refrains that fuels the decision not to vote is the belief that it won’t matter, and a perception that somehow everything remains the same no matter who is in office. Regardless of your political opinions, recent years have made that argument ring hollow, particularly for several issues that many game players profess to value. The net neutrality debate has the potential to directly impact gamers and their hobby. The recent and heartbreaking mass shooting at a Madden tournament in Jacksonville suggests that both the gun control and mental-health conversation has direct relevance for those interested in the burgeoning competitive-game scene. International trade wars could have a direct impact on tech and game companies and the products they release. And it’s this same bracket of younger adult gamers who tend to have deep concerns about health care, student-loan borrower protections, and civil rights for LGBTQ individuals, among a host of other concerns.

Candidates voted into office in this November’s midterm election will undoubtedly sway the course of all those issues for years to come. The 2016 presidential election was ultimately decided by 80,000 votes in just three states. By way of comparison, Epic Games recently announced that Fortnite had reached 125 million players. Even if a tiny percentage (0.06%) of those players of a single game were U.S. voters in those states, they would have had the potential to decide the presidential election. And in most of the midterm votes for governors, senators, representatives, and other offices in this upcoming midterm, the difference between winner and loser is likely to be far less than 80,000 votes.

Many other individuals don’t vote because they’ve been led to believe they can’t. That’s a travesty, because they’re often wrong. A simple internet browser query for “Can I vote” will instantly bring you to a website run by the National Association of Secretaries of State, with simple drop-down menus for your state offering details on how to register, find polling places, and the valid forms of ID you need for your location, among other details. If you’ve never stepped into a polling place before, it’s far easier than you’d expect. If you can figure out the upgrade system in the latest Bethesda role-playing game, I promise you’re more than capable of showing up to decide who will dictate the course of your country, state, and city.

Voting this year is on Tuesday, November 6. No matter your political leanings, you should make your voice heard. For many of us, the opposing team isn’t a political party or group – it’s an establishment that is counting on you to not show up. As long as we remain silent at the polls, they can afford to overlook our deepest worries and the issues we care the most about. If they were taunting you in a pregame lobby, it would infuriate you. But that’s just what they’re doing. They’re winning because we’re not even playing the game. Don’t rage quit the match. Prove them wrong.

This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of Game Informer.