Costume Quest 2's tricky twins are back on their beat

Double Fine released a PAX trailer for Costume Quest 2 today, and announced an exclusive costume offer for anyone who pre-orders the game on Steam. Coming to Windows PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U this October, the creepy turn-based combat and exploration game puts players in control of twins Reynold and Wren as they set off on a trick or treating adventure. They'll fight evil characters in Halloween costumes that grant them superhuman powers. "It's probably our most requested sequel, besides Psychonauts," said Double Fine's Greg Rice in a recent Polygon interview. "People have been asking for it forever. I think it's that every Halloween you're reminded about the game. We have a lot of people who are coming back to us saying they replay it...

Saints Row 4: Re-Elected coming to PS4 and Xbox One, $30 this January

Last year's Saints Row 4 is being ported to current-gen systems by High Voltage Software and branded as Saints Row 4: Re-Elected, it was revealed at a PAX panel this afternoon. The project was announced alongside a new Saints Row expansion titled Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, which is being developed by series creator Volition alongside High Voltage. The port will be available for $29.99 including all Saints Row 4 DLC, or for $49.99 as a bundle with Gat out of Hell. Both will be available January 27, 2015. The developer teased new features like voice commands (examples given: "motherfucker" and "son of a bitch") along with modding so players can create their own weapons. We'll have more on Saints Row 4: Re-Elected, as well as Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, in the next couple days.

Top Hearthstone player joins Blizzard to help work on the game

Blizzard has hired a top competitive Hearthstone player as an associate designer on the game. Ryan 'Realz' Masterson announced on Twitter that he is joining the company. Masterson is a top competitive player of the virtual card game, as well as Magic The Gathering, and a noted Twitch streamer. Hot Off The Press - I have accepted a position as Associate Game Designer (Hearthstone) with Blizzard Entertainment. A new chapter begins... — Ryan Masterson (@Realz_HS) August 27, 2014 "This is a truly exciting opportunity for me," stated Masterson on a Reddit post. "I hope my association with the continuing development of Hearthstone will serve to comfort fellow ladder grinders, competitors, and players at large that one of us is behind the scenes looking out for the interests of...

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell sends the Saints to Hell in 2015

Volition's next entry in the Saints Row series is titled Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell and sends the franchise to the afterlife in 2015. According to a trailer that debuted at PAX Prime today, the Saints' Johnny Gat and Kinzie are sucked into Hell via ouija board to battle demons and some "prominent historical figures," ultimately coming face-to-face with Satan. The game features online co-op for two players. Its version of Hell will be about half the size of Saints Row 4's Steel Port, Volition says. Players will get access to a handful of new weapons in Gat Out of Hell, including the Arm Chairmageddon (a La-Z-Boy recliner with guns), the Energy Caster, a Locust Gun and a weapon that fires a plague of frogs. Developed by Volition and High Voltage Software, Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell...

Eight GIFs that tell you everything about the New Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo announced a new 3DS this morning called, simply, the New Nintendo 3DS. Following in Nintendo's handheld tradition, the New Nintendo 3DS is an iterative improvement on the original 3DS with some notable, and not-so-notable, changes. Instead of just listing those changes, we thought we'd share them using the power of the animated GIF. Behold! TWO NEW SHOULDER BUTTONS The new ZL and ZR buttons provide closer parity to home console controllers. BUILT-IN NFC READER While an attachment is being made available in 2015 for existing 3DS handhelds, the New Nintendo 3DS has built-in NFC support for Nintendo's upcoming amiibo toys (which are available for pre-order now, priced at $12.99 each). BETTER 3D VIEWING ANGLES The New Nintendo 3DS promises an improved viewing...

Nintendo lays off 320 workers in Europe, despite speaking against the practice last year

320 individuals, including 130 full-time Nintendo of Europe employees and 190 who worked for the localization department through a leasing agency, will be laid off effective August 31. "As previously communicated in June 2014, approximately 130 permanent employees will be released by Nintendo of Europe (Germany) at the end of August 2014 as part of a set of measures to better enable the European business to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment," Nintendo explained in a statement to Kotaku. "As a separate measure, Nintendo of Europe is reorganizing its European Localization Development (ELD) department, where it currently uses a number of temporary agency workers in translation and testing activities, in order to increase flexibility and cost-efficiency in the l...

How Double Fine handles menopause and incest in family-driven RPG Massive Chalice

Double Fine's turn-based strategy game Massive Chalice is heavy on bloodlines. Set during a conflict that spans several lifetimes, players can't get too attached to a single character, or even a generation of characters. Death is inevitable. If the battlefield doesn't claim you, old age will.Massive Chalice is built on not finding, but creating, new blood. Players match and marry characters with varied genetic and personality traits in hopes of creating powerful new warriors. But though the game's pool of pairable characters is far smaller than what we're used to in everyday life, Double Fine was careful to rule out one potential problem — incest. The developer discussed allowing players to marry characters within those lines or perhaps even add a trait that pertained specifically to...

State of Decay coming to Xbox One in 2015

Undead Labs' zombie survival game State of Decay is making the leap to Xbox One in 2015, Microsoft announced today. The port, called State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition, will debut sometime next spring. State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will run at 1080p resolution, Microsoft said in an announcement, and include two add-ons for the game: Breakdown and Lifeline. The Xbox One release will also contain unspecified new content. State of Decay was originally released for Xbox 360 in June 2013. A Windows PC version was released through Steam the following September. For more on the original State of Decay, read Polygon's review.

Here's one of Halo 2's best maps in 1080p, 60 frames per second

Lockout, a fan favorite multiplayer map from Halo 2, has been given the remastered treatment for Halo Master Chief Collection, according to an announcement on Max Hoberman, the lead designer on Halo 2 and now the president of Certain Affinity, a collaborator on multiplayer for the Halo Master Chief Collection, writes on "We're thrilled to be bringing this fan-favorite back, and are paying close attention to the details and subtleties that made the original great while also making a couple of very careful, very calculated enhancements. Most prominent among these are a bit of cover added to the ‘Elbow,' the long walkway connecting the grav lift to the sniper tower, and a dynamic element that should help counter an entrenched group of enemies. Of course this can be...

Nintendo amiibo figurines available for preorder, priced at $12.99

Nintendo today opened up preorders for its line of amiibo figurines, with a suggested retail price of $12.99 and a delivery date of holiday 2014. The first dozen characters available will be iconic Nintendo characters; Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer. Amiibos are Nintendo-themed miniatures embedded with near field communication chips. When placed near a Wii U the figures will be able to communicate with the console and contribute unique functionality to various Nintendo games. Similar technology has been in use for several years already with the wildly popular Skylanders series and Disney Infinity, which is now entering its second iteration. Unlike other NFC figurine systems, Nintendos amiibos will be...

Ultimate NES Remix bringing 8-bit mash-ups to 3DS on Dec. 5

Ultimate NES Remix, the next installment in Nintendo's bizarre series of NES-era mini-game compilations, will launch on Nintendo 3DS Dec. 5 both on the eShop and at retail for $29.99, the company announced today. Two NES Remix titles have launched on Wii U to date, challenging players to complete increasingly difficult timed challenges in classic titles like Super Mario Bros. 2, Dr. Mario and more. The games also included "Remixed" versions of those games, in which characters from one franchise found their way into another — among other bizarre mutations. Ultimate NES Remix will follow that formula, and will include challenges from 16 8-bit titles. Ultimate NES Remix will also include online leaderboards, letting players measure their best scores against those in their region. It will...

Super Smash Bros. leaked roster seemingly confirmed by Nintendo announcement

Today Nintendo announced Shulk, the protagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles, will be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U. The announcement lends more credit to last week's leak of what may be the roster of characters in the upcoming fighting game. In the leaked footage, Shulk appeared to fight in the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. Those leaked videos were shutdown by a Nintendo of America. Inc. copyright claim. Shulk's announcement comes at the beginning of the following Nintendo Direct video.

Xenoblade Chronicles is coming to the new 3DS, won't work on older hardware

Nintendo has announced a new model of the popular 3DS line of portable systems, and the updated hardware has its first exclusive game: Xenoblade Chronicles, a port of the 2010 open-world Wii title. This explains Shulk's now-confirmed appearance in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. release, use of Xenoblade characters will only help to promote the 3DS game. Very little is known about the 3DS version of the game, although you can watch the trailer below, straight from Nintendo Direct this morning. Here's the catch: This version of the game will only be able to be played on the new 3DS hardware, meaning owners of the older hardware will be locked out. "The remake is something they’ve previously wanted to do for the Nintendo 3DS, but were not able to due to its lack of CPU power, but now...

How Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor turned me into a vengeful psychopath

In Monolith's Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, death might be temporary, but grudges last forever.I'm waiting less than patiently for the hero, Talion, to return to the land of the living — again. It's the third time I've died during my demo. I'm told this isn't unusual. But if persistence can be considered a virtue, I'm nearing saintly levels thanks to the game's Nemesis system. The Nemesis system is Monolith's way of making enemies more than faceless foes. Orcs have unique names and ranks that shift as the game progresses; if Talion fails to kill them in battle, they'll remember his face. Running into them again will trigger new tactics and taunts, and they're likely to have grown in strength. It's a system that provides an endless wave of foes that want to kill me, and I really,...

Can video games teach us to be better people?

At school, I learned about crop rotation, algebra and the Holy Ghost. But there was never a class on how to behave like a decent human being.Perhaps the makers of curricula in 1970s England trusted in parents or the playground to teach children how to be fully emotional and social beings. Judging by the number of arseholes churned out by the system, then as now, they were sorely mistaken. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the idea that education can usefully teach people how to deal with one another, and how to navigate our complex human mazes. I did not know words like empathy or rapport When I left school I thought 'concord' was just a very fast airplane. I did not know words like 'empathy' or 'rapport' but I knew how to say, "fuck off pal," in a manner hinting at impending...

Nintendo reveals the New Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo revealed today its New Nintendo 3DS system, an upcoming version of the 3DS hardware that features a second stick built in, in addition to new shoulder buttons. The new system was confirmed today during the Japanese Nintendo Direct. The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS LL feature a smaller analog "nub" above the A, B, X and Y buttons. Likewise, existing buttons have been colored to match the old-school SNES controller. The hardware will also arrive with new shoulder buttons which will be situated next to the existing ZL and ZR buttons. Check out a front-on view below. Additionally, the system will features a better CPU than previous models, according to Nintendo, which allows for faster eShop browsing and downloading. The New Nintendo 3DS' more powerful internals...
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