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How Fantasia: Music Evolved adds dubstep drops to classical music

Fantasia: Music Evolved takes the rhythm genre in a bizarre direction — one that's less concerned with high scores and skill, and more focused on creativity. It's a direction that works for the game, because putting together a classical version of "Superbass" is, and always will be, a pretty wonderful activity. Unfortunately, that experience is one that Fantasia is going to make you work for. Check out the Overview for more thoughts on the game, and to see our Kinect silhouettes cast magical spells while wearing gym shorts.

Here's what's coming in the next Xbox One update

Next month's system update for Xbox One brings a number of new features to the console that focus on personalization, TV, Twitter and more. Perhaps the most visible (and apparently most requested) of those new features is the ability to customize your Xbox One dashboard's background. In a new preview video of the Xbox One November update, Microsoft's Larry Hryb and Richard Irving show off some new customization features. Initially, the option to use a custom background image will be limited; players will only be able to use artwork from the Xbox Live achievements they've unlocked. A forthcoming update to the Xbox One media player will give users the ability to use any image as the background on the dashboard home, however. The Xbox One November update will also add the option to add a...

Rockstar warns of GTA 5 beta scam (correction)

Grand Theft Auto 5 publisher Rockstar Games created an entire page on its website last year to warn people about scams regarding a supposed beta for the game, and there's still no beta for the upcoming remastered edition, the company confirmed today. "Please note: There is no pre-release 'beta' test for Grand Theft Auto V," the page reads. "If you see ads or solicitations to join a beta program, beware as this is likely some type of online phishing scam." The re-release of GTA 5 will be available Nov. 18 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while the Windows PC version will be released Jan. 27, 2015. Its multiplayer component, Grand Theft Auto Online, will be included at launch and now supports 30 players on consoles, unlike the original game on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Pre-order...

More pre-alpha gameplay of Star Wars: Battlefront 3 leaks out

More footage from Star Wars: Battlefront 3 — the sequel to the extremely popular shooter that was canceled at the last minute by LucasArts — has emerged on YouTube. Two videos combine to show 30 minutes of gameplay from a pre-alpha build of Battlefront 3, which had been in development from 2006 to 2008. These two videos are of an early build of the game, so some textures are missing and sound assets aren't present. The menus show a list of all the maps that apparently had been planned for Battlefront 3, and the videos show what Coruscant and Hoth looked like at the time of this build, for Xbox 360. "Some footage of the build of Star Wars Battlefront 3 that got canceled," writes the uploader on YouTube. "This build is from 2007 and was ported over from the PC. ... The game looked very...
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NBA Live's executive producer on the future of the series: 'Guaranteed'

The case for NBA Live, the series, is also the case against NBA Live 15, the game hitting stores in 10 days. Sean O'Brien, the game's executive producer, knows this."I'm not selling you, or anyone, this game," he told me. He knows NBA Live's embarassing history, knows that everything he says sounds self-interested, knows that any claim he makes is pfft-worthy, especially with this year's game delayed three weeks past its announced launch date. Here is the guarantee O'Brien will make, though: NBA Live 15 will be better than NBA Live 14 by about this much, he says, holding one hand about a foot above the other. And then NBA Live 16 will be here, he says, sitting up to reach higher. "So, you're guaranteeing there will be an NBA Live 16," I say. "Guaranteed." O'Brien says. "We've already...

Halo 2's high-definition remake gets a righteous look back

Fan of the game or not, this teaser trailer for a documentary about Halo 2 Anniversary should take you right the hell back to 2004, and ten years never seemed like so long ago. Lord, we are old. That's Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight, framing a perfectly understandable lede on the importance of a video game for dinnertime viewers who never heard of the thing before. And not Halo as it is known today. Halo 2, on the day of its release. "It is a huge moment for the manufacturer." Yep. It was. "Remaking the Legend — Halo 2 Anniversary," will tell everyone how that came to be. Halo 2 is getting a long awaited high definition update within Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which arrives Nov. 11 on Xbox One. Xbox's longtime face Larry Hryb; the division's top boss, Phil...
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Sunset Overdrive has a special in-game message for reviewers

In the interest of journalistic transparency, here is a special message Sunset Overdrive is playing for those currently reviewing the game, before its release in 10 days. It comes via "Sunset TV," which is a weekly show that developer Insomniac Games is going to stream in-world. So for this first run, knowing that the only ones (mostly) who are playing it are reviewers, Insomniac has some Orwellian propaganda for those who hold its Metacritic'd fate in their hands. "Look I'm not trying to sway your review score either way," says Insomniac's Brandon Winfrey. "I mean your opinion is your opinion. But I advise you not to use the phrase ‘Sunset Overhype' because that's just lazy writing!" This video is via Forbes, so, we're not breaking embargo here, OK? They are. So, Sunset Overh- I...

Watch Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's launch trailer two weeks early

Normally the "launch trailer," is something that launches on the launch date, which in the case of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, is Nov. 4, or Election Day in the United States. Activision apparently decided to roll its own early get-out-the-vote campaign, offering up this 90 second look comprising the story, characters and some gameplay of the latest entry in its military shooter. That's Kevin Spacey as Jonathan Irons (no relation to Jeremy), reminding you that "politicians don't know how to solve problems, but I do." So there you have it, vote Irons in this mid-term election. Except, as a mid-40s looking guy in the year 2054, he's probably not of eligible age for any elective office right now.

Watch out for spoilers in this Borderlands visual timeline

Borderlands didn't trot out a reboot or a prequel for its latest edition; Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is something in between, and if you're wondering how that fits into the continuity — and can tolerate a lot of spoilers — here's a visual timeline. I suppose it's not a spoiler that Claptrap "spends most of [Borderlands] standing next to a frickin' bounty board." His brethren also spend much of that time missing some part deep in a cave populated by crabworms and bandits. This timeline also does not discuss the relationship of Lucky Zaford to Scooter's Mama in the original game, either. We weren't as sweet on the latest Borderlands as we were on its, er, younger? sibling Borderlands 2, scoring the Pre-Sequel a 7.0, calling it "a story filling in gaps," but adding that the...

Images of HBO Go on Xbox One slip out

Images of HBO Go on Xbox One have purportedly leaked out, indicating the service is ready to come to that console to hit an earlier announced timeframe of sometime this year. The images in question are said to be of a beta release of the HBO Go app, which has yet to release for Xbox One or PlayStation 4. (It's already available on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.) A link to the images were posted in the Xbox One subreddit yesterday, and has since been removed. HBO Go stands to get a huge boost next year as the premium television network prepares to make its service available to viewers without the need for a cable subscription. Right now, that subscription is necessary to use HBO Go on consoles, or on any of the other devices where it is available.

Assassin's Creed Unity introduces its latest lineup of historical figures

Rubbing elbows with important personages of history, from Caterina Sforza to George Washington, is one of the unique appeals of the Assassin's Creed franchise. So now it's time to meet Assassin's Creed Unity's characters of revolutionary France, two of them fictitious, and three quite well known. The latter three would be the Marquis de Sade, Robespierre, leader of la Terreur, and a short guy by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. They join player-protagonist Arno and his romantic companion Elise in enforcing an alternate view of the French Revolution. Note how many people carry around fully loaded and powdered duelling pistols that never misfire. Considering how many injuries occur from keeping loaded modern handguns in the home, this would seem to be an especially dangereux lifestyle...

Halo: The Master Chief Collection up for digital preload, Spartan Ops delayed to December

You can now pre-order and preload Halo: The Master Chief Collection from the Xbox Games Store, developer 343 Industries announced today — and you might want to go digital in order to save yourself a bunch of time. The full game is 45.63 GB, which is close to the limit of a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc. And 343 will release a day-one content update that weighs in at an additional 20 GB with "some features and multiplayer content," according to Dan Ayoub, studio head for Halo external development at 343. He added, "You'll be able to start playing campaign and more as the content is installing." Ayoub said the patch will be released "at launch," but a Microsoft representative confirmed to Polygon that customers who preload The Master Chief Collection from the Xbox Games Store will also be...

Project Cars delayed to March 2015 (update)

Project Cars, the crowdfunded simulation racing game from Slightly Mad Studios, has been pushed back to March 17, 2015, in North America, and March 20, 2015, in Europe, the studio announced today. The new date, which applies to the game's PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, represents a delay of four months — publisher Bandai Namco had previously set a release date of Nov. 18. In a press release today, Slightly Mad and Bandai Namco said they decided to push back Project Cars to move it out of the crowded fall 2014 release window, and to allow for additional development time. "Whilst a tough decision to make, the change in release date allows the game the greatest chance of success and visibility, and the opportunity to polish the game even further to the high standards that both...

Teleport all you want, Destiny players. The grenade will still kill you

The first Mythbuster video for Destiny was great, and the follow-up includes even more interesting details about what does and doesn't work in the game. Video games are just a bundle of interacting systems, and this sort of video works at the the edges of those systems to find what's permissible and what isn't. There is much fun to be had in the edge cases, and it's neat to find out what, if anything, you can use from these explorations in your daily play.

Breaking down Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's classes and skill trees

If you've picked up Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel but can't figure out your gladiators from your lawbringers, we're here to help. Check out the video above to see our breakdown of every single class and skill tree in The Pre-Sequel, along with tips for which trees work best for which type of gameplay.

Watch Destiny's Vault of Glass raid boss go down in 17 seconds

The Vault of Glass is the best and most challenging thing in Destiny right now, and completing it is the ultimate achievement. Doing so requires a team of six high-level players working in close coordination with each other, and the right mix of skill, teamwork and kick-ass gear can produce something incredible like this video. This is a clip of six members of the Destiny clan called "Legendary Crew" taking down Atheon — the final boss of the Vault of Glass — in just 17 seconds. That's on hard mode, by the way. How'd they do it, you ask? The group consisted of three Warlocks using the Sunsinger sub-class and three Hunters using the default Gunslinger sub-class, according to the video's YouTube description. Five members of the team were at level 30, Destiny's current level cap, while...

Epic Shadow of Mordor: One warchief, 19 bodyguards and a battle for the ages

Players have been having a lot of fun manipulating the Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Nemesis system to produce some epic battles, but this may be the wildest yet: One warchief with nineteen captains serving as his bodyguards up against a single ranger (who happens to have a ghost elf living inside him). Be sure to stay for the mind-blowing clash of steel and flesh that ensues. It's a battle for the ages.
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Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell's slothful lounge chair of death will arrive one week earlier

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell will descend into the netherworld on Jan. 20, 2015 — a week earlier than its originally scheduled release date, publisher Deep Silver announced this week. Alongside the announcement, Deep Silver also released a new Gat Out of Hell trailer, based on the seven deadly sins. Christians, scholars and fans of the 1995 David Fincher film Seven may be familiar with them. Players of Saints Row: Gat out of Hell will soon be, too, though in a slightly different form than classically understood: Players will wield weapons based on envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. Press play above to see the series' absurdist takes on sins as weapons. Series creator Volition revealed Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, a standalone expansion that sends the titular Johnny...

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is now part of EA Access

PopCap Games' shooter spin-off Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is now part of EA Access, Electronic Arts' subscription plan that offers a handful of Xbox One games for a monthly or annual fee. Garden Warfare is the sixth game added to the EA Access Vault, joining Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, Battlefield 4, Need for Speed Rivals and Peggle 2. EA added Rivals to the list of EA Access titles in September. EA Access was announced and launched in beta this July. The service lets subscribers download and play certain Xbox One games for as long as their EA Access subscription is active. A subscription costs $4.99 monthly or $29.99 annually. EA Access also offers early access to select games and a 10 percent discount on digital purchases of Xbox One games published by Electronic Arts. For more...

Far Cry 4 trailer shows Himalayan adventure

If you want to get a sense of the style and detail of Ubisoft's Far Cry 4, this trailer serves up the goods. Set to release on Nov. 18 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows PC, it's a lush Himalayan adventure that allows players to freely explore the world, while also following a set narrative path involving a nasty war with a vicious dictator. We played the game last week, so take look at our impressions and our video overview.
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