Dead Rising 4’s Holiday Yule Log Video Shows Body Parts Roasting on a Fire

Microsoft put out a new promotional video today for Dead Rising 4, but don’t expect to see any gameplay. It’s a 21-minute “Yule Log” video that you can put on in the background to get into the holiday spirit.

There is a twist with this one, however, as there are body parts roasting on the fire instead of logs of wood. At various times, someone steps into the frame to add more body parts and stoke the fire with a barbed-wire baseball bat adorned with Christmas lights. Have a look:

This video might be odd, but it fits in with Dead Rising 4’s holiday theme. The game’s announcement trailer at E3 used the famous Christmas song “Jingle Bell Rock,” while the story is set during the holiday period.

Dead Rising 4 launches for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on December 6; it’s a timed exclusive, which means it could come to PS4 and Steam in the future. The game’s DLC offerings will include an 18-hole mini golf course that supports up to four players online and holiday-themed weapons.

In other news about Dead Rising 4, publisher Capcom confirmed this month that the game’s campaign will not have cooperative multiplayer, though there is a co-op solution.

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Owlboy Review

By their very nature, retro-inspired games are fighting an uphill battle against the nostalgia they aim to invoke. How can they form their own identity when they’re partly designed to make you remember other games? After finishing Owlboy, it seems D-Pad Studio might have the answer.

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For almost a decade, Owlboy has lurked behind the curtain of mainstream releases with a small-but-devout following. Looking at screenshots and videos over the years, it was always apparent that Owlboy would look and sound great, but there’s so much more to love about the final product: the humor, the varied cast, the disasters that befall its otherwise bright and uplifting world, and the incredible action set-pieces that punctuate the calm found elsewhere. It’s not until you break through the surface that you’re blinded by Owlboy’s artistic brilliance and swayed by its heartfelt story.

It begins with Otus–our muteprotagonist and the runt of his village–during a stressful dream where his professor and dark figments criticize his inadequacies and chastise his inability to speak. It’s a powerful setup that endears our hero to you. Trouble brews shortly after he wakes up and concerns of pirate sightings explode into panic as a nearby metropolis comes under attack. Otus teams up with a military mechanic, Geddy, to put a stop to the pirates before their home is destroyed.

Owlboy is old-school, not just in its presentation, but also in its storytelling–there’s no voice acting, and events are set in stone with nary a major decision-making opportunity in sight. The plot manages to avoid predictability, however, not only through a handful of twists, but by allowing characters to evolve throughout the course of the game. Sad moments aren’t swept under the rug by unreasonable optimism–they stay with your squad and fundamentally alter their outlook on the mission and their own identity in surprising ways. There’s great attention to detail in the cast’s animations, which are often tailored for a specific scene, as opposed to falling back on routine reactions. Coupled with a script that’s rife with emotion and nuance, Owlboy’s characters feel real in your heart despite their cartoonish look.

It may be a throwback of sorts, but Owlboy’s visuals aren’t tailored to specifically ape 8- or 16-bit graphics; it doesn’t have a limited color palette, and its pixel resolution changes based on the scene at hand. When you enter wide-open spaces, the camera zooms out, chunky details shrink, and meticulously designed structures and environments take shape. In tight spaces, you’re brought closer into the scene for more intimate inspection. From subterranean creatures to ancient structures, Owlboy tackles several artistic themes and subjects with consistently impressive execution. And if you have a soft spot for 2D games with multiple layers of parallax scrolling–where the background moves slower than the foreground to simulate depth–you’re in for a treat.

When you first take control of Otus, darting around floating islands and chatting with other creatures makes for a pleasant experience, and while the open air and bright colors deserve some credit, it’s the orchestrated soundtrack that solidifies Owlboy’s shifting atmosphere and tone. Violas and flutes instill merriment at first, but this innocence is short lived; when the pirates invade, oboes drone and cellos growl to the slow beat of a heavy drum. When the dust settles and the second half of your journey kicks off, sprightly piano compositions provide a much-needed respite from the stress of a society under attack.

Your trek to the pirate’s den takes you through expansive spaces and into the heart of sprawling cave systems where buccaneers and wildlife alike lie in wait. They typically bombard you with rocks and other projectiles, rarely engaging in close-quarters combat. On his own, Otus can only dash into enemies, stunning them at best. However, with the help of a handy teleportation device, he can summon one of three partners into his claws mid-flight to utilize their long-range blaster, shotgun, or webbing that can ensnare enemies and be used as a grappling hook to escape dangerous situations.

Otus is unfortunately a tad slow by default, which causes you to spam his dash move repeatedly to keep things moving along outside of combat. There’s a modest upgrade system driven by collecting and turning in coins found in chests, but you’re upgrading health reserves–in the form of soup canisters–and your team’s weapons, not physical traits. Still, a keen eye and fast reflexes are more critical to success than any upgrades purchased during your adventure. Knowing that success comes from a show of skill rather than your ability to collect upgrades is gratifying, but you walk away from Owlboy with the sinking feeling that the equipment and upgrades in the game have unrealized potential.

Standard combat isn’t anything special, but it never wears out its welcome thanks to deft pacing. Owlboy steadily mixes combat and exploration with measured stealth challenges, fast-paced escape sequences, and entertaining exchanges between characters. The chase/escape sequences in particular are some of the most impressive moments in the game, throwing you into a harrowing race against time in the face of tightly choreographed hazards. These scenes are challenging and filled with visual effects that add to the sense of danger, and they’re overwhelming at first, but should you die, not to worry: Owlboy never truly punishes you for failure, allowing you to restart from the last room you entered.

Owlboy is consistently charming and surprising, and when its final act doubles down on every front, it’s bittersweet to see it end. As you relish the outcome of the final battle and watch the closing cutscene, you can’t help but reflect on the beginning of your adventure and how far the world and its inhabitants have come. You’ll never be able to play Owlboy for the first time again, but the memories of its magic moments stick with you. This is more than a treat for fans of old-school games; Owlboy is a heartfelt experience that will touch anyone with an affinity for great art and storytelling.

Source : eight off solitaire

Star Citizen Dev Responds to Criticisms, Announces Plans to Share Internal Timelines

“We take the process of production very seriously and spend a lot of time on improving our ability in this area.”

cStar Citizen has been in development for a long, long time now, as the original Kickstarter campaign began in October 2012. Pieces of the game have been released, but the full thing isn’t out yet. The game has grown in scope over the years, so the initial target release dates have come and gone. In a frank and candid blog post today, director Chris Roberts announced a major change for how the studio will communicate release dates, namely that the studio will share “target” dates that could change.

“Whether or not to share this kind of information has been a long running debate among the team here at Cloud Imperium Games,” Roberts said. “Target dates are not release dates, and everything you see will shift at some point, sometimes slightly and sometimes wildly. The danger in doing this has always been that casual observers will not understand this, that there will be an outcry about delays every time we update the page.

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“We’ve taken stock, thought through everything and decided that, while that is a risk, above all we trust the community that has given us so much support,” he added. “The community that has let us focus our passions on this incredible project. You have allowed us to take this journey, you have tracked and followed so much of how game development works… and now we think it is right to further part the curtain and share with you our production process.”

Beginning with Star Citizen Alpha 2.6, Cloud Imperium will share its internal development schedule on a weekly basis. “These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs with a few exceptions: the individual developer names assigned to the tasks will be omitted (for free cell games), we’ll remove the JIRA details and we’ll modify the technical wording to make it readable for a wider audience, but otherwise, when something changes, slips or is completed, you will know,” Roberts went on to say.

Here is a sample of what the production chart will look like:

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This schedule will be permanently posted on the Roberts Space Industries website; additionally, the developer will provide updates every week with a new “snapshot” of its internal schedule.

“We take the process of production very seriously and spend a lot of time on improving our ability in this area,” Roberts added. “Our worldwide Production Team is twenty-five strong and they are the backbone that drives our development forward. They work closely with developers to break down and create tasks, chase up task completion daily, update their respective team’s schedules, encourage and strengthen open communication by organizing meetings, agendas, and creating action items to help push the project forward day by day. The Production Team has many collective years with some of the biggest developers, publishers and games. They are like the rest of the CIG team, world class.”

Also in the blog post, Roberts spoke about how the studio has “take a lot of flak” over the years for pushing Star Citizen’s timeline further into the future.

“But the simple fact is that game development, especially game development on the scale of Star Citizen, is complicated. If you talk to any developer that works on large titles they will tell you that schedules, especially early in the development cycle, move all the time,” he said. “Most people never see this because a publisher won’t announce a project publicly until it is very far along; normally at least in Alpha, with all the technology and gameplay R&D completed. Even then, the timelines can be unpredictable as can be seen in the delays on big name titles from publishers.”

“Open development does have its drawbacks,” he added. “Not everyone understands the process or how difficult it can be. We have always tried to be open and share our progress. We refactored Around the Verse to focus more on developers showing and talking about their work to help give insight into the process. Our monthly reports have more information than any monthly report I had to do for Electronic Arts or Microsoft when at Origin or Digital Anvil.”

Star Citizen fans should really read the full blog post here from Roberts.

As alluded to, not everyone has been thrilled with Star Citizen’s delays. One backer recently received a refund after complaining to California’s Attorney General.

Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Red Crow teaser showcases “Skyscraper” map

The expansion includes the debut of the new Elite customization sets.

After weeks of trickling out information, Ubisoft has finally dropped the full details, and a new trailer, for the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege DLC, Operation Red Crow. The expansion will include two new operators from Japan’s SAT, Hibana and Echo, a new map called Skyscraper, new weapon skins and features, and the debut of a new series of customization packs called Elite sets.

These sets each include a matching uniform and headgear, an Operator card, a charm, an Operator name, and “signature victory animations.” They’ll be released first for Kapkan, Sledge, and Thermite. The new maps and modes will be available to all players, while the new Operators and most weapon skins can be unlocked (which is to say, purchased) with Renown or R6 Credits.

Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Red Crow will be available to season pass holders on November 17, and to everyone else, for 600 R6 credits ($5) on November 24.

Source : Montana Solitaire

Dishonored 2 Review

Honoring Intelligence and Creativity

When I think back on the greatest games I enjoyed when I was younger, games like Ultima Underworld and Thief II: The Metal Age, they all have one thing in common. They honored player intelligence and gave us endless possibilities for our creative impulses. Admittedly, those games were rare even then, and today it can seem impossible to find these masterpieces among the hordes of titles relying on scripted action sequences and QTEs. Dishonored 2 is one of those masterpieces, a first person stealth-action title polished and primed for modern gamers but based on the best traditions of interactive entertainment.

Little Emily Kaldwin from Dishonored has grown up into a… so-so empress, despite the best efforts of her devoted father (and Dishonored protagonist) Corvo, who seems best at training her how to be a canny assassin rather than a courtly ruler. You can hardly blame her for her failings, given the plethora of problems faced by her empire and the number of schemers she deals with on a daily basis. She’s trying, but often finds herself wishing for sweet freedom away from the stifling demands of court. It’s not surprising, then, when she falls prey to a dastardly plot at the start of the game. Playing as Emily or Corvo, you’ll find yourself journeying to the southern city of Karnaca in order to unravel the plot and defeat a coup backed by a powerful witch and fearsome mechanical creations.

The most interesting themes of Dishonored return – figuring out who to trust (and perhaps more importantly, who not to trust) and choosing when to kill or not kill. This time, however, they are backed with a healthy dose of passion and personality that the first game often lacked. Emily and Corvo both speak; a welcome improvement. I spent most of my time with Emily, and she’s delightfully sarcastic (though determined to make things right), yet ultimately conflicted in a way that feels real. Her enemies are fantastically characterized in ways that make you determined to take them down, and they inhabit the areas in which you’re tracking them in ingenious ways. Perhaps you’ll largely read about them in scattered notes, or perhaps they will taunt you endlessly via a loudspeaker as you attempt to defeat their booby-trapped manor (just PERHAPS – that jerk). Either way, you’ll never forget why you are where you are at any given time.

The sights of Karnaca create a distinct sense of place, different yet connected to Dunwall. There’s no citywide plague this time, so there are more civilians around in the main areas that you pass through on the way to your ultimate destinations, and it feels more like a real city with locations that are connected to one another. I do feel like it was a bit gray and washed-out for a place supposedly based on Mediterranean Europe, but my tastes run more colorful than the average gamer. What can’t be contested is the masterful use of light and shadow, used both in service of the stealth gameplay and to create dreadful displays, such as the distended, flickering shadows of bloatflies against the wall as you approach a nest (they are totally gross and far creepier than Dishonored’s plague rats, but thankfully a bit more contained to specific areas).

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Sound design is, of course, vital to stealth-action gameplay, and Dishonored 2 fully excels here as well. You’ll want to pay attention to every sound cue you get, as it will help you track guards and learn vital information about the areas you’re in. At the same time, the game uses music, voice, and effects to throw you off and scare the pants off you from time to time. There’s nothing like creeping up behind a bad guy only to have the squeal of a loudspeaker or the shout of a guard you didn’t notice make you jump in fright.

The main star of Dishonored 2, however, is its ingenious level design. This game cements the Arkane team as the absolute best in the business for creative yet eminently playable levels. Each mission area is unique and sizeable, but designed like a set of nested magic boxes that you’ll have to pick your way through carefully in order to reach your objective. Even the most bizarre levels feel like real places, via a thorough grounding in reality and fantastic attention to detail. There are no incoherently maze-like buildings or corridors that make no sense, and you’ll note that every single mechanical object has an identifiable (and interactive like aces up) power source. At the same time, all the design is in service to gameplay; every nook and cranny contains a tool, a treasure, a secret way to achieve an objective, or a juicy secret about the world. I’ve never seen a game so good at feeling real while also displaying so much creativity and so many gameplay options. There is never just one way to solve a problem. If you think there is, you’ve missed something.

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And how do you defeat all these dastardly locations in order to take out your enemies and rescue your loved ones? Dishonored 2 remains primarily a stealth title, and even the most stab-happy player will be glad to know that sneaking around is simple and intuitive. Level traversal, in fact, feels better in general than it did in Dishonored. If it looked like I could jump onto a ledge, I generally could do so. And if I was spotted by a guard, I could always figure out what I’d done wrong. Combat also feels responsive but properly weighty. Some advanced maneuvers can be a bit fidgety – drop assassinations seem oddly difficult to perform, as many of my attempts resulted in me landing in front of my target even after desperately jamming the appropriate button. I also had trouble doing things like making a flying leap onto a climbable chain. I couldn’t quite tell if I was doing it wrong, so feel free to excoriate me in the comments if it was easy for you.

Emily and Corvo’s supernatural powers are plain fun to use; teleporting is zippy, and Emily’s shadow creeping ability actually feels creepy while you’re executing it. It’s jittery, your point of view is oddly distended, and even its non-lethal takedown animation is designed to make you shudder. Nearly every power is multipurpose and can be combined with other actions and powers to do crazy things. Use a doppelganger of yourself to lure a nasty killer robot into an arc pylon. Take out an inconveniently placed guard by mystically chaining her to a closer-by guard, then shooting that close guard with a sleep dart, putting them both to sleep. Every level presents new challenges and possibilities for your powers, although you can also “just say no” to magic juju and play through with just your crossbow, mines, and other fun goodies.

Heroes of the Storm designer invites the community to help design a Deckard Cain character

A new balance update is out, too.

Deckard Cain of Diablo fame is known primarily for exhorting would-be heroes of the realm to hang out and shoot the breeze during spots of downtime. He’s also really old. Whipping a character like that into shape for inclusion in the Heroes of the Storm MOBA is not, as hero designer Nathan LaMusga told Polygon, an easy task. So he’s looking for some ideas from the community.

“He is one of the hardest heroes to think of design,” LaMusga said. “When you really sit down and think about it, he’s a guy who loves to read books. What is he doing? Not to say it’s not possible, but it is one of the harder ones. Maybe he plays Hearthstone or something like that.”

“I love reading hero pitches on our main Heroes of the Storm forums and on Reddit,” he said. “If you’re a community member reading this right now: Send me your Deckard Cain pitches. Make a Deckard Cain. I’d love to see our community’s pitches on that one.”

His overture is obviously more community engagement than an official call for pitches, but who knows? If a good idea should come along, Blizzard may well run with it: Heroes of the Storm is a bit light on Diablo, after all, and aside from the Big Red Man himself, Cain is probably the most iconic character in the franchise. He even has his own rap song.

Separately, Blizzard rolled out a Heroes of the Storm balance update that makes changes to a number of heroes, including nerfs to Samuro, Malfurion, and Zarya, a slight buff to Murky, and a single, very specific bug fix that corrects an issue “that could cause Tyrael’s Sanctification ability to fail if Zarya cast Expulsion Zone at the same location.” The full patch notes are available at battle.net.

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Warcraft 1 and 2 Won’t Be Remastered Because They’re “Not That Fun Anymore”

“I promise you, in today’s world, by today’s standards, it’s just not that fun any more.”

During a panel at this past weekend’s BlizzCon, a fan asked if Blizzard had any plans to remaster the Warcraft series’ first two games. Unfortunately for that fan and anyone else who wanted them, Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce said there are no plans at this time (via tri peaks).

Pearce explained how Blizzard is fortunate enough to have access to the original source code and assets, but he says it’s “really hard to access that stuff, unlock it, and figure out how it all works.”

“We had some dedicated folks that were passionate about the idea, dig up the Warcraft 1 assets and code,” Pearce continued. “They got it working and they got it running in a window. And I played it. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans was awesome for its time. I promise you, in today’s world, by today’s standards, it’s just not that fun any more.”

The Blizzard co-founder explained that the developer has limited resources, and it would “much rather work on amazing content” for games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch or work on a new project altogether. Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime jumped in at this point to say, “At this time.”

“We totally appreciate your enthusiasm for those old games,” Pearce said. “We love them, too.”

While Blizzard isn’t working on remasters for Warcraft 1 and 2, it is releasing reworked content based on the original Diablo for Diablo III.

WWE 2K17 Review

WWE 2K17 Feels a Little More Realistic

Yearly entries in established series usually fall into four categories. You have the installment that shakes things up and makes things much better as a result, as well as the one that experiments and falls flat. These, in turn, lead to the iteration that fixes everything after huge mistakes were made and entry that does its best to make minor improvements while not ruining a good thing. WWE 2K17 falls into that final category. Yuke’s and Visual Concepts clearly realize WWE 2K16 did a lot of things right and have taken an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to this year’s game. This means a game with a larger roster and more customization and management options that fine-tunes a number of issues, but doesn’t offer any huge alterations to the WWE 2K formula.

First, WWE 2K17 is a rather large game. If you’re going to be downloading it to, say, your PlayStation 4, you’ll need 58GB free for the game and day one patch. Fortunately, it has a neat feature to keep you occupied while you wait. As it downloads, you can actually play Normal One on One matches with AJ Styles, Brock Lesner, Dean Ambrose, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, and Roman Reigns. It’s a nice feature to help you kill time while you wait, and one I appreciated.

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WWE 2K17

Of course, the game isn’t just large in terms of file size. There’s a lot to do in WWE 2K17. In addition to the My Career and WWE Universe simulation modes, where you’re actually participating as an original wrestler or orchestrating shows, there are tons of standard matchups that let you immediately begin playing the game as characters you’ve created, unlocked, and (sadly in the case of Shinsuke Nakamura) bought. Including DLC, over 150 characters are available. To compare, last year we had about 120 characters. You can take them through 13 kinds of One on One matches, six sorts of Two on Two matches, seven Triple Threat match types, seven kinds of Fatal Four-Ways, six different Six-Man matches, two types of Handicap matches, two types of Tournaments, and three sorts of Royal Rumbles. This game is extensive, offering all sorts of options.

WWE 2K17’s matches are rather similar to the ones found in WWE 2K16, albeit with some minor tweaks. The submission mini-game remains the same, though it now has an alternate option. You still have to manage your stamina and can’t go flailing your way through a match. Pinning and kicking out works the same as it did before. Reversals still involve tapping the trigger at the right time, though it felt like the system was a little more forgiving when it came to timing. It feels like the game has been fine-tuned, rather than systems completely overhauled.

Some adjustments, both major and minor, have been made to make things more interesting. Chain-wrestling is further downplayed and only happens if both characters try to grapple at once, as it should be. You can perform a taunt during a match to buff up your character briefly, which makes sense. During multi-character matches, your character rolls out of the ring to recover and has the option of staying down for further recovery or breaking out of it more quickly. You can even fight in a rather small and limited backstage area or the crowd, as well as break in for pre-, mid-, and post-match interruptions, to keep the action going at all times.

WWE 2K17
WWE 2K17

Fans of female wrestlers aren’t going to be very pleased with WWE 2K17. If you’ve been following the shows and news, you know that they’re no longer called Divas. That distinction is gone, and has been since March when the Women’s Championship was established. Yet, the game continues to refer to them as Divas. While that could be hand-waved away as an oversight, even though the game does have the WWE Women’s Championship in it, it doesn’t explain why MyCareer is still limited to only original male superstars. Considering the Mass Effect-inspired interviews and conversations have been replaced with text-only promos, there’s no plausible excuse for locking female characters out of this portion of the game.

Which is a shame, because MyCareer has experienced some interesting updates in the transition from WWE 2K16 to WWE 2K17. After creating a custom (male) character, you help him earn experience and find a place on the roster. He can work with other wrestlers or develop rivalries with them. This time, your performance during the tutorial could result in you heading to NXT or becoming part of the main roster. You can even team up with Paul Heyman (cofounder game Pyramid solitaire online) to receive specific challenges. It’s possible to earn extra money from merchandise deals. Also, if you’re really good at what you do, you can have more than one championship belt.

Unfortunately, the new promo system, used in both My Career and WWE Universe, feels a bit dated and stale. Instead of allowing you to actually interact in interviews, as in WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17 offers a text-based mini-game. You will have four dialogue options to choose from, and go on rants either alone or with another character. The crowd that night, your reputation, and the one of six types of promos you performed determines the impact on the character and story. It’s… okay? It works well enough. But, it’s an unvoiced segment in a 2016 video game where last year we actually had voice acting and dialogue wheels. It’s a step back.

Russian Solitaire Rules

Russian Solitaire is one of special solitaire card games. Like other solitaire, russian solitaire need 1 standard deck of 52 cards. Or you can play online. Here, let’s check how to play russian solitaire, rules and strategy.

1 deck. Average. No redeal.

Russian Solitaire uses one deck (52 cards). You have 7 tableau piles with the number of cards per pile increasing from one to seven from left to right. The top card is face up. Then 4 additional cards are dealt, face up, onto each of the six piles on the right. You have 4 foundation piles.

Aces are moved to the foundations as they become available.

The object of the game

To build the foundations up in suit to kings.

The rules

You may build tableau piles down in suit. Groups of cards can be moved regardless of any sequence. Any face up card in the tableaus can be moved to further a build. All the cards covering it are moved together as a unit. Empty tableaus may be filled with a King or group of cards headed by a King.

Wins are rare.