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4:33 PM BlueFin175: Rocket League ftw !!!
8:16 AM v1cut: Should we try for a Blacrex Memorial Run next Friday (3/11)?
1:56 PM toonudie: if more then 3 people actually participate I would be in
3:50 PM Jef419: i'll pick up forza this friday and race on the 11th
9:07 AM toonudie: And I would just like to add that Big Hoop is TOTALLY gay
1:50 PM BlueFin175: As far as I know I'm in.
10:12 AM GREASIEMONKIE: OK, Rocket League is an absolute blast. Great time this past Saturday with Beta, Nudie, and Fin....
10:13 AM GREASIEMONKIE: Like Trials, this is a "Made for the DN" game, worth more than the $20 price.....
1:07 PM v1cut: Who is racing Friday? What time do the festivities start?
9:35 AM GREASIEMONKIE: drip.....drip......drip.......drip........
11:55 PM SummDoggs: Hi

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Here's What You Need To Know About Grand Theft Auto Online's New Doomsday UpdateTue, 12 Dec 2017 14:00:00 GMT

Last week, Rockstar revealed that the new Doomsday update would be dropping for Grand Theft Auto Online and debuted a trailer that showcased GTA leaning into its more zany side, with flying cars and talk of apocalypse prevention. The update will be going live today and, in the meantime, Rockstar's debuted a list of features for Doomsday. Here's what you need to know.

The DLC Is Pretty Hefty
The DLC doesn't include one heist but three, and they're big, according to Rockstar: "Each of the three massive Heist acts that comprises the story of The Doomsday Heist involves negotiating multiple ruthless Freemode prep missions, tactical setup operations, and experimental weapons and vehicles - each ending with an over-the-top finale that brings a payoff big enough to comfortably share with your fellow crew members."

One Of The New Vehicles Sounds Amazing
In the list of updates, Rockstar notes that one of bigger additions is a flying vehicle called The Avenger and is described as "
a vertical take-off, turreted, flying fortress/experimental weapons lab in the sky/death-spitting collateral damage producer that practically flies itself."

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Doomsday Heists Include Elite Challenges
Rockstar calls them "brutal" and says there will be "serious financial payback" for any teams hardcore enough to complete them. Eight new achievements/trophies are included with this update. 

More Customization, Plus A New Radio Station
The developer wouldn't go into specifics but ended its update with the news that the Doomsday heist would include a number of unlockables and customization, inviting players to " discover dozens of new vehicles, new weapons, new clothing and personal customization options, as well as a surprise new radio station just in time for your fight to save the world."

For more on Grand Theft Auto Online, be sure to read our recent in-depth interview with Rockstar on Grand Theft Auto V and the game's future.

Frank Ocean Teases New 'Blonded' Grand Theft Auto Radio StationTue, 12 Dec 2017 06:00:00 GMT

With the new Doomsday Heist expansion about to hit Grand Theft Auto Online, Rockstar has a few tricks left up its sleeve. Tonight R&B sensation Frank Ocean posted an image on his Tumblr indicating his popular "Blonded" Beats 1 radio show is getting a Los Santos edition. 

The first song being teased is Ocean's hit "Crack Rock" from the 2012 debut album Channel Orange, but we assume Ocean will also curate some songs for the station as well.

Last month, Ocean revealed that his fifth studio album is complete. Maybe we'll get an in-game tease?

Our Take
This new station is a nice surprise on the eve of what looks like a sizable new addition to GTA Online. 

A Hat In Time Review – Unpolished Platforming BlissTue, 12 Dec 2017 04:27:00 GMT

A Hat in Time represents the best kind of Kickstarter project. Developer Gears for Breakfast doesn’t have any notable celebrity developers on its team and was instead able to reach its monetary goals based purely on the potential of the game and its appreciation for the genre it was trying to emulate. The result is a game that lacks polish, but A Hat in Time is full of surprises, and, more importantly, is a blast to play.

A Hat in Time begins with a mysterious girl in a tall hat flying through space in a ship fueled by magical hourglasses. She is sidetracked, however, when a bad guy from Mafia Town (a planet inhabited exclusively by Mafioso) invades her ship and her hourglasses are flung into space, making their way to the neighboring planets. What follows is a bizarre platforming adventure through a number of distinct worlds with an assortment of fun abilities.

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Arguably Hat in Time’s best and most notable element is its platforming gameplay. Moving the unnamed girl through the world is fast and accurate. I rarely, if ever, missed a jump I wasn’t aiming for, and moved at a pace that would impress even Mario. Navigating the environments is simply fun, and when you get into the rhythm of sprinting, double-jumping, lunging, and jumping again, you end up with a fantastic sense of control over your movement that makes even the smallest platform easily accessible.

Platforming is far from your only activity, however. While plenty of jumping challenges are available, A Hat in time does a good job of mixing things up with levels and sequences that defy your initial expectations. One level on a train that plays out like a stealth game (complete with overt Metal Gear Solid references) requires you to solve a murder mystery and dodge vision cones, and it ended up being one of my favorite sections of the game. Another level takes place on a scary planet full of dark woods, requiring you to sign multiple contracts with a pushy demon in order to take on side-quests. These kinds of unexpected moments happen throughout the game, making each new location worth seeking out.

Your character is also able to unlock a collection of abilities tied to different hats, like one that turns her into an ice statue to slam down on springy platforms and launch across levels. These upgrades are all useful, and can be accentuated by a series of unlockable patches that improve them. Switching between abilities is instantaneous, which adds to the impressive platforming flow when you have to use multiple abilities in quick succession.

A Hat in Time has a lot of character in all facets of its art design, but there is no escaping that the visuals are dated. The game looks like an HD remaster of an early 2000s platformer. While your character’s movements and actions look great, many of the other characters move with stilted animation, and their models clip into themselves in awkward ways. The result is a game that feels a little sloppy. It’s far from broken, but I did run into the occasional distracting bug, like when my character’s hood was offset about halfway up her face during the final cutscene.

A Hat in Time lacks polish, but it makes up for its shortcomings with excellent platforming and a universe I was happy to be part of. The whole experience is adorable, and in many ways it improves on the very platformers it uses as inspiration.

Opinion – The Brilliant Blunder Of Destiny 2’s Laser Tag WeekendMon, 11 Dec 2017 23:39:00 GMT

Curse of Osiris, the first expansion to Destiny 2, released last week. I’ve been playing a lot in the lead-up to writing a review, which I’m waiting to finalize until after the patch that goes live this week, an addition that promises to add significant features that should be factored into a full evaluation. 

In the meantime, I’ve watched with great amusement the saga of the Prometheus Lens, the brand new exotic trace rifle that appeared alongside the expansion – a flame ray-firing beam of disaster. As early as launch day, a few players had been lucky enough to get the weapon to drop, and it didn’t take long for the competitive Crucible to see its power. Bungie quickly recognized the problem of the overpowered gun, and the developer acknowledged a bug that boosts Prometheus Lens’ destructive capability. This thing was a beast, boasting a time-to-kill unheard of in the current meta, and making virtually any other weapon (or even super) feel pale in comparison for pure winning potential. 

It meant that those who had gotten the loot drop were suddenly kings of the hill. Until Friday. That morning, the enigmatic vendor known as Xur arrived as he always does with exotic armor and weapons to peddle…including the Prometheus Lens. Quickly dubbed laser tag by the wider community of Destiny players, virtually every match was a light show of flashing red beams, sudden vaporizations, and frantic leaping flights from danger. Suddenly, the Crucible wasn’t just a little broken – it was a disaster. A beautiful, hilarious, wildly fun disaster, and exactly what Destiny 2 needs more of. 

Let’s back up. Am I saying that I want the Crucible to feature all-Prometheus Lens all the time? No. This gun should be scaled back, and supposedly, it will be with the forthcoming patch in less than 24 hours. Am I even saying that these super-fast time-to-kill rates are the recipe for a more enjoyable Crucible? Contrary to what some in the community have proclaimed, I don’t think so. While some competitive streamers have been frustrated by the current state of Destiny 2’s PvP, I know many less-skilled players (who are perhaps also less vocal in the community) who have felt engaged with the Crucible for the first time, and that is thanks, in part, to it being a more deliberate and team-oriented game. The speed and excitement of the current Crucible meta does need work, with more variety for both high-skill players and newcomers, but I’m not convinced that the answer is to suddenly make every game mode into a frenzied killfest. 

Instead, this weekend’s unexpected and unplanned bout of laser tag insanity is the kind of one-off craziness that Destiny 2 needs to embrace. Bungie deserves a lot of credit for recognizing the mistake of Prometheus Lens shortly after Curse of Osiris launched, and ensuring that everyone could get in on the action by having Xur sell the offending weapon. It may have been an accident, but Bungie responded with agility and good humor. As a player, once I got over the sudden change, I had a blast (literally) blowing away competitors with the Prometheus Lens, and enjoying the sudden shift in playstyle that came along with it. 

Standard Crucible weapons and supers were at a dramatic disadvantage over this most recent weekend

If the Prometheus Lens remained this way, it would be terrible. Destiny 2, like its predecessor, is a game that relies on a complex interplay of different weapon types, classes, and game types. Stripping all of that away would dramatically lessen the depth of the game systems, and in short order, the game would lose all its luster. But a few days of broken laser destruction? That’s something I can get behind. 

Whether you always agree with Bungie’s sandbox and balance decisions, I’ve spoken enough with the developers at that studio to know how carefully they consider every change they make to what is ultimately an incredibly complex interplay of game mechanics. By and large, that drive for balance is a good thing, but with respect to the hard work the team does, Bungie could afford to loosen the constraints from time to time, and implement the same brand of hysteria that overwhelmed the Crucible this weekend, but on purpose instead of by mistake.  

Imagine a weekend competitive event for the Crucible in which you had no gun ammo, but your melee ability was always primed to full. What if occasional PVE planetary flashpoints included overwhelming invasions of enemy attackers across an entire destination for those that opted into the experience (an idea that Bungie toyed with in pre-release events for Destiny’s previous expansions)? How about a frantic Marathon Man-like chase through the underbelly of the Leviathan raid, with Cabal War Beasts nipping at the party’s heels like a futuristic running of the bulls, killing off stragglers who don’t get out of the way? These aren’t good ideas in the sense of balanced, carefully curated content. But they represent the tone of play that many players would enjoy: A dynamic and ever-shifting playspace where the standard rules are made to be broken, balance be damned. 

In the age of games-as-service, Destiny 2 is just one of many games that needs to become more agile and reactive to its fans, and offer opportunities for creative play and surprises on a regular basis. I’ve been heartened that Destiny 2 has tried hard in its first months of release to consistently include weekly events like Faction Rallies and Iron Banner. Even though those events haven’t yet hit their full potential, it’s a good first step. But more dramatic change-ups will be required to keep the game feeling lively and adventurous. Like the Outbreak Prime quest in Rise of Iron, or the horrendously broken loot cave of Destiny's launch, fans like being in on the secrets of a game’s past, and even its mistakes. 

I’m more cognizant than many that a big game like Destiny 2 is an unwieldy ship to steer in a new direction. It’s hard to implement sweeping mini-events or short-term modes, and make sure that the entire boat doesn’t go down in flames in the process. It’s easy for me to say: “Bungie should just do this!,” and ignore the work that is involved. Even so, I saw over this weekend how much fun could emerge from the introduction of one accidentally broken gun. I can only imagine that the same sort of thing, created with intent and forethought, could be even better. 


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