Blizzard has announced the next expansion for Hearthstone, titled The Witchwood.

The new expansion boasts a new single-player adventure, 135 cards, and an April release date. Not a whole lot else is known about the game beyond the six cards Blizzard revealed today, but there is a wider blowout planned for March 27. Below are the six cards revealed so far.

  • Pumpkin Peasant
  • Baku the Mooneater
  • Militia Commander
  • Azalina Soulthief
  • Genn Greymane

You can check the cinematic trailer for the game below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

A pack of 70 cards from the expansion can be pre-purchased for $49.99 now from Blizzard.

During a Q&A session on video game forum Resetera, former head of digital content at Nintendo of America Dan Adelman explained why he has been criticizing Nintendo’s indie policies on the Switch.

After working as a third party business development manager for Xbox and negotiating games like Knights of the Old Republic, Adelman eventually moved to Nintendo and launched Nintendo’s first few forays into digital stores with the Wii, DS, 3DS, and Wii U. He now works helping indie developers with business development, most recently Axiom Verge, and was asked about previous comments he made on social media about getting the game onto the Switch. Back in April of last year, Adelman expressed frustration of Nintendo’s indie policies, saying they could have gotten Axiom Verge on the system at launch, but Nintendo wasn’t saying yes.

“Nintendo had two inconsistent policies that I think in retrospect made life very confusing and frustrating for a lot of people,” Adelman wrote as an answer to the question. “The first policy was that they were only approving developers who were interested in bringing games that had never released on another system before. The second was that once a developer was approved, that developer could bring whatever game they wanted to the system – including their entire back catalog from other systems. 

“As a result, there was a mismatch between the rationale we were give for not being approved – because Axiom Verge had already released on other platforms – and what we were seeing on the eShop, which was lots of ports from other systems. It was especially frustrating since we had been asking for access to dev kits more than a year before the system’s launch, and I told them that I knew from experience that they’d have a period after launch where they’d be starved for content. Sure enough, there was a long stretch in those first few months after launch where there were lots of new Switch owners but no new games, which would have been a perfect opportunity for Axiom Verge.

“I’m a pretty vocal and passionate guy, so I let my frustrations known in ways that may have been less than productive. (I guess I can be a bit of a Walter Sobchak.) I’ve since sat down with some of my former colleagues and buried the hatchet, so I think we’re all good now.”

This does explain some of the strange indie decisions on the Switch in its first year, as some developers have taken to social media to complain about Nintendo denying them Switch development kits on the basis of being a port while many of the system’s eShop releases have been later or concurrent ports. 

Axiom Verge, a 2D Metroidvania by Thomas Happ, was released on the Switch in October 2017, seemingly through a loophole where having a retail release also mandated an eShop release. The game is also available on PS4, PC, Vita, Wii U, and Xbox One.

[Source: Resetera]


Our Take
Hopefully now that it’s out in the open, Nintendo will do a better job at least communicating what they look for in indie partners. Curation is not in and of itself a problem, but it can be if handled or communicated poorly.

Chucklefish, the publisher behind games like Stardew Valley and Pocket Rumble, has teamed up Robotality to bring out Pathway, a turn-based strategy title with a pixel voxel-based aesthetic.

As a follow-up to 2014’s Halfway, Pathway seems to be inspired by Indiana Jones in a lot of strong ways.

“It is a time of global unrest as German military influence is spreading throughout Europe and the Middle East,” the game’s page reads. “Rumors of frantic excavations and strange artifacts, not to mention ghastly occult rituals, have begun to surface across secret communication channels… Morten has vanished. The Nazis took him because he interfered with their occult research. We have to rescue him before it’s too late. And afterwards, who knows what other adventures await?”

You can check out the game trailer below. The game has been announced for Steam, but further platforms and release window have not been announced.

(Please visit the site to view this media)


Our Take
I dig the look of this and heard good things about Halfway, so I’m definitely curious about this. 

Super Daryl Deluxe was originally unveiled as a Kickstarter project that surpassed its $5,000 funding goal with $7,861 back in 2014. While the two-man team of Dan & Gary Games have had their work cut out for them for the past few years, they’re almost ready to unleash Super Daryl Deluxe on the world this coming spring.

As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, co-founder Dan Plate labels the game as an “RPGvania with brawler-style combat.” It follows the new kid on the block, Daryl Whitelaw, as he awkwardly becomes embroiled in saving his high school from multi-dimensional foes. One of the most appealing parts of Super Daryl Deluxe is how players can unlock up to 46 abilities that can be earned by exploring the world, completing side quests, and bought off “Trenchcot Kids.”

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Whether you want to fight enemies from a distance, deal more damage with status-based attacks, or dance around in the air, the game is designed to slowly yet surely encourage players to adjust how they tackle encounters throughout their bizarre travels, which range from deserts with flexing cacti to giant knights in space.

In the same vein as Supergiant Games’ Transistor, you can’t equip all of your abilities at once, but can have up to five of your choosing. This means you need to see what types of combinations of moves and combos work best, and with passives and outfits to keep in mind, there’s plenty to keep you busy in this unpredictable, sprawling adventure that aims to provide a 15-hour experience.

Super Daryl Deluxe comes out on April 10 for PS4 and PC.

MLB the Show 18 developer Sony San Diego has released new info about the upcoming title’s Road to the Show mode. The mode puts gamers in the shoes of a mid-level prospect for an MLB franchise who must work his way up into the big leagues – complete with a narrator telling your tale. Along the way, you may be moved to a new position, train with teammates, and interact with coaches via a conversation system.

The game features a new player archetype system and attribute caps, so naturally, we wonder how much freedom players will have to shape their characters compared to past years. Sony San Diego says you can change your player archetype if you move your position, which hopefully allows some flexibility in making your player more well-rounded if you want.

Watch Brian Shea and I discuss what’s in the mode, where it could go, and what we hope gets addressed this year.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more on MLB the Show 18, check out our previous Sports Desk coverage, including details on Diamond Dynasty mode, as well as the first feature trailer.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below. 
Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato


A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week 

Mario Tennis Aces Coming in June 
Take a look at footage of the game from the recent Nintendo Direct. 

Inaugural NBA 2K League Esports Draft Taking Place On April 4 

Tennis World Tour Gets Release Date 
The title hits the PS4, Xbox One, Switch & PC on May 22.

Out Of The Park Baseball 19 Trailer Shows Off New 3D Engine 

EA’s NHL Going Into Esports 
Although EA isn’t involved…

The Golf Club 2019 Dev Talks Putting Real-World Objects Into the Game 

Each Monday, come here for a rundown of all this week’s big events that we know about, from game releases, to betas, to recapping the biggest continuing news stories from the previous week. If there’s anything we missed, feel free to let us know! This week covers the dates from March 12 to March 18.

Upcoming Releases

Devil May Cry HD Collection (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 13
Golem (PSVR) – March 13
Kirby Star Allies (Switch) – March 16
Burnout Paradise Remastered (PS4, Xbox One) 
– March 16

Things To Watch Out For

Chun-Li’s June (Star Gladiator) Costume Challenge – The fourth and final part of Chun-Li’s June costume is available through SFV’s Extra Battle challenge until March 15.
Monster Hunter World Aloy Costume Quest Available Now – The Horizon: Zero Dawn quest that allows you to earn an armor set that makes your hunter look like Aloy (and get her bow!) runs until March 18.
SXSW Gaming – The SXSW gaming contention happens March 15 – 17. Of specific note is the Sonic the Hedgehog panel, which promises a look into the series’ future.
Overwatch League (Stage 2, Week 4) –Philadelphia Fusion meet Shanghai Dragons and London Spitfire take on Seoul Dynasty. 

In Case You Missed It

Catch What You Missed In Last Week’s Nintendo Direct 
Super Smash Bros. Announced For Switch In 2018 
Valve Boss Says Company Will Start Shipping Games Again
How Do You Play Valve’s Artifact, And How Will You Pay For It?
Mass Effect 2 Lead Writer Drew Karpyshyn Leaves BioWare Again
Report: Here’s How President Trump’s Meeting With The Video Game Industry Transpired
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Announced, Releases On October 12
Ubisoft Reveals The Division 2 Is In Development, With Full Reveal Coming E3 2018
Nintendo Officially Says Mario Is A Plumber Again
Life Is Strange: Before The Storm Complete Review 
More On Diablo 3 On Switch Rumors
Replay 300 – Super Metroid 

What are you looking forward to this week? Let us know in the comments below!

Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment announced that pre-registration for its upcoming mobile game Westworld is now open. Based on the hit HBO show, Westworld will bring the power to control every aspect of the western-themed sci-fi park into your hands.

In the mobile game, players are thrust into the role of a new Delos employee and are given access to the Delos Park Training Simulation. The DPTS gives the new trainee access to all functions of the Westworld park, including the creation and maintenance of the A.I. hosts and pairing those hosts to satisfy every desire of the park’s guests.

“This game is an opportunity to give mobile gamers a fresh and exciting way to interact with the engrossing themes and enigmatic narrative explored by the Westworld series,” said Jonathan Knight, vice president and studio head at WB Games San Francisco. “We can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the game to develop their own unique strategy to orchestrate and explore the perfect park experience.”

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Those who pre-register for Westworld will receive additional in-game items, including a code to access Lawrence as a host. More information about pre-registration and the game itself can be found at Westworld’s website. Westworld is coming to iOS and Google Play in April 2018.

Valve’s endlessly popular MOBA Dota 2 has announced a new monthly service called Dota Plus.

The service is an “evolution” of Battle Passes. These are optional, seasonal packages players pay for which offer bundles of cosmetic items, as well as quests and challenges to earn more cosmetic items. Dota Plus replaces the Majors Battle Passes by making rewards independent from timeliness. More and exclusive cosmetics will continuously be added to Dota Plus as well. A feature called Plus Assistant provides players with various advice, such as how to best use abilities and real-time items, based on “millions of recent games at each skill bracket,” the update’s posts says.

Another new feature called Hero Leveling allows players to earn a new currency called Shards for rewards like items sets and relics, which track hero-specific accolades and show them off to other players.

Dota Plus also gives members access to play in weekly tournaments, called Battle Cups for free. Non-members can participate, but it costs $0.99 for a ticket. The membership itself costs $3.99 a month, but discounts apply for 6- or 12-month memberships. Battle Cups also now offer 20,000 shards for teams who win.

For more on the nitty-gritty of Dota Plus, head here.

[Source: Dota 2 on Twitter]


Our Take
While Dota Plus is a neat idea for the core crowd, Plus Assistant should not be dependent on a paid service. Everyone should have the right to be shown how to improve. It not only helps the players get into a good groove, but it makes any game more fun when you’re playing with people who have a better grasp on things, especially in a strong team-focused game. With games like Fortnite taking reigns on what players are active in, it’s more important than ever to rake in newcomers.

In a job posting over the weekend, Square-Enix appears to be hiring for level designers for the Final Fantasy VII remake.

Through a translation courtesy of Siliconera, Square-Enix’s description of the remake’s progress does not sound like it is particularly far along or that the scope might be exceeding the team’s grasp.

“While Final Fantasy VII Remake’s programs for general functions and contents are being tested within the development team as required, the part about reproducing the original work in high-quality graphics is reaching a satisfactory standard, and we’ve come to the conclusion that in order to meet fan expectations we must increase its quality another step higher,” the job listing shows. “Therefore, in addition to the current members for the Final Fantasy VII Remake development, we must establish a core group that includes level planners, battle planners, designers, engineers, and various types of jobs to tackle on the production of the big title.”

The development of the anticipated remake, announced in 2015, has been a rollercoaster since that announcement. Initially CyberConnect2, the team behind the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm games and Asura’s Wrath, was doing the bulk of the game’s development with Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Versus XIII director Tetsuya Nomura doing the actual direction. After announcement, Square-Enix indicated that the only way to get the game released in a timely period without cut content was to release it in episodic format, breaking the game apart into separate releases over the generation.

In May of last year, Square-Enix fired CC2 and brought the production in-house, following comments from Nomura that he had been unsatisfied with the work so far when asked about trailers and progress. Since then, Square-Enix has not shown any in-production work of the game, short of concept art at a Final Fantasy art gallery show in recent months. Reportedly, Nomura has also indicated a desire to make the remake’s Cloud more dorky than his recent characterization and more in line with the original release.

It is currently unknown what the status of the remake is, but Square-Enix doesn’t seem to have given up on it if the job listing is any indication.

Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced in 2015 exclusively launching for the PlayStation 4. There is no public release window.

TheDominoKing is an artist on YouTube that has long been putting together domino creations related to pop-culture. His latest creation is dedicated to Donkey Kong, and it’s a spectacular homage to this famed video game mascot and the surrounding series.

“The Donkey Kong Country series as a whole are some of the best games I’ve ever played,” writes TheDominoKing in the video’s description. “And with DK Tropical Freeze for the Switch right around the corner, I thought it was time to make Donkey Kong in dominoes.

Six days and 24,949 dominoes later, he built an incredible tribute. Check out the video below to see for yourself.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more of TheDominoKing’s creations, check out these domino set-ups relating to Cuphead, Sonic, Yoshi, and Shovel Knight.