How the Grinch Leaked the Smash Ultimate Roster

A recent rumor stated that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would be getting another new character in the form of a Square Enix representative, which many believed would be Geno from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. According to a new leak, this looks to be true, but what people didn’t see coming were the six other newcomers.

Earlier today, images surfaced of what appeared to be the final artwork displaying the entire roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Not only is Geno present, but also Shadow the Hedgehog, Banjo-Kazooie, Isaac from Golden Sun, Ken, Mach Rider, and the Chorus Kids. The image was initially shared on a Snapchat story that was quickly deleted, but not before someone saved it.

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While this may just be an elaborate hoax, multiple signs point to this actually being real. The image was shared by an employee of a French print company that specializes in media advertising and promotional material. The employee’s name was visible in the Snapchat video, and he was identified as Eric B. Fans then found Mr. Eric B’s LinkedIn page and pointed out that he cited Bandai-Namco, developers of Ultimate, on it. The page has been set to private as of now.

The image of the complete roster was very blurry, but being a screenshot of a Snapchat story, you can’t expect it to be crystal clear. Some have also pointed out that the image might not be a large poster or some other kind of promotional piece as most thought, but rather an armband, which would explain the blurriness.

What really corroborates this leak, however, are the never before seen materials. An large image of an empty version of the Battlefield stage can be seen, and Nintendo hasn’t shown that before. There were also multiple promotional items for the upcoming Grinch movie that haven’t been released yet. If they’re legitimate, this would prove that the leak did in fact come from a marketing company and that these are completely real. While the Smash leak itself seems pretty legit with all the evidence, it’s the Grinch promotional materials that’ll be the damning evidence if they’re real.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will launch on December 7 exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Will Come On 2 Discs

“Hold it, Snake. Time to change the disc.”

Japanese packaging for Rockstar’s highly-anticipated open-world western surfaced earlier this week, and one part of the box very quickly garnered attention. On the back cover near the game’s install size and other things like that, there is an icon indicating the game has 2 discs.

Earlier today, Canadian YouTuber Kofi tweeted photos of a retail copy of Red Dead Redemption 2, which has two discs, one labeled “play disc” and the other labeled “data disc”. He also states that the game comes with a map, a Rockstar tradition. Some fans were worried that the map would be tied to the game’s Special Edition this time around, but luckily, this seems to not be the case.

Double and even triple disc games aren’t new in the games industry, but ever since Blu-Ray has been adopted as the standard, almost every game has been able to fit on one disc. The only two games to come on multiple discs this generation are Gears of War 4 and XCOM 2 Collection, both of which require the second disc for installation purposes only. It looks like Red Dead Redemption 2 will function the same way.

Last gen games came on multiple discs all the time, usually on the 360. GTA V came on two discs. So did Assassin’s Creed III and Halo 4. Final Fantasy XIII and Blue Dragon came on three discs. Lost Odyssey came on four. But those were standard DVDs. Red Dead 2 is coming on two Blu-Rays, and considering the game supposedly weighs in at a heft 100GB, it’s no surprise the game wouldn’t fit on just one.

I can’t wait to stare at an install screen for an hour on release day.

 

 

 

Days Gone Delayed to April 2019

Sony’s exclusive post-apocalyptic zombie biker adventure has been pushed back two months, according to a PlayStation Blog post. Now fans will have to wait until April 26, 2019 to get their hands on Sony’s next first-party exclusive.

Days Gone was unveiled at E3 2016 and was rumored at one point for a 2018 launch, before officially receiving a release date of February 22, 2019 in PlayStation’s Countdown to E3 coverage. Now, the game will be releasing two months later in order to “further polish” the game, according to the game’s developers, Sony Bend. The push back definitely gives the game some breathing room, because three other games are still slated for February 22: Microsoft’s mega-delayed Crackdown 3, atmospheric open-world shooter Metro Exodus, and EA’s Destiny/Iron Man hybrid Anthem.

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The blog post also detailed three other PlayStation games. The first of which is Déraciné, From Software’s first foray into VR. The game will launch exclusively for PSVR on November 6. Concrete Genie, announced at Sony’s Paris Games Week conference last year, hasn’t had much time in the spotlight since its reveal, but Sony has reassured us the game is on track for an early 2019 release. Everybody’s Golf VR, which was revealed a month ago at TGS, finally got a release window of Spring 2019. The game will be playable with either the Dualshock 4 controller or PlayStation Move wands.

Are you bummed about the delay, or do you think Days Gone needs the extra time and polish? How do you feel about Sony’s commitment to PSVR? Be sure to let us know down below, and keep it at Circle Square Games for all things PlayStation.

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Review

Call of Duty has been struggling to reach the highs of its heyday for years. Call of Duty used to be an event. Every year fans were treated with an action-packed blockbuster campaign, an addictive competitive multiplayer mode, and some type of cooperative offering (usually zombies). This year’s entry forgoes the single-player aspect to double down on its multiplayer, and the change more than paid off, resulting a robust and varied suite of compelling game modes, each with their own progression systems and unlocks.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer is Call of Duty’s bread and butter. Fast-paced twitch shooting has been a staple of the franchise since its conception, and Black Ops 4 is no different.

However, Black Ops 4 does make some small but welcome changes to the formula. Objective based game modes are now 5v5 instead of the usual 6v6, but some modes like team deathmatch still support 6v6. Healing is a manual action this time around, requiring a button press rather than just waiting behind cover. Players have more health and the time to kill is a bit longer than normal. While these tweaks aren’t anything major, they add up to create a more strategic, tactical experience than traditional brain dead run and gun shooting.

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Similar to Black Ops III, each player is required to choose a Specialist, a preset character with unique abilities. While these characters were present in the previous entry, there’s much more of a focus on them this time around. There can only be one of each per team, and some of the new Specialists have support abilities like healing and respawn stations, so a team’s composition really matters. Each one feels unique and suited to a specific play style. Want to provide extra points for your team and play for scorestreaks? Choose Crash. Want to hunker down somewhere and hold down a part of the map? Choose Torque. The Specialists add a layer of depth to the game while not overcomplicating things.

The characters’ backstories are fleshed out in “Specialist Ops”, which are nothing more than glorified tutorial missions with short cutscenes attached to them. What could’ve been fairly interesting and a good introduction to the game’s multiplayer turned out to be underwhelming and tedious.

Black Ops 4 has 14 maps, 4 of which are remakes of classic Black Ops maps. The other 10 are serviceable with some standouts. Icebreaker has players engaging in medium to long distance firefights with little cover, but the wrecked ship in the middle of the map offers tight, close range battles and flanking routes. Morocco has a surprising amount of verticality, with most routes usually having a higher path nearby. Hacienda funnels players through hallways while still allowing them to rotate around the house to flank, or through the open courtyard if they’re feeling brave. Each map has its own identity, and they’re all fun to play on.

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Heist and Control are the two new modes introduced. Heist is very obviously inspired by Counter Strike. You start with a pistol and have to earn money by either eliminating players or completing the objective. There are no respawns, and you buy weapons and gear at the start of each round. Heist is fun, but forgettable. Control, on the other hand, is a welcome addition to the franchise and quickly became one of my favorite modes. One team attacks two control points while the other defends. Each team only has 30 lives, though, and once those are gone, there are no respawns. Both teams go at it until one reaches 3 points. Control requires strategy and communication, but it’s still casual enough to fit in nicely with other Call of Duty game types. It’s all fun and games until it’s 5v5 with no respawns.

Speaking of spawns, spawning is incredibly broken. People will spawn right behind you. It’s infuriating. I’ve seen plays of the game where people have gotten a kill, died, respawned, and then immediately got two more kills, all within seconds. Treyarch is working to improve the spawns, but right now, it’s a mess.

Other than that, Black Ops 4’s multiplayer feels like classic Call of Duty with some modern twists. I hit first prestige over the launch weekend, and I’m looking forward to returning. Map variety, gun selection, and varied game modes make for a refreshing and fun experience.

Zombies

Zombies is the second pillar of Black Ops 4’s multiplayer suite. On a fundamental level, Zombies is the same as it was back in World at War. Four players work together to survive endless waves of undead attackers, purchasing new weapons, opening doors, and uncovering secrets as they do. Black Ops 4’s Zombies mode is absolutely packed with content. There are three maps at launch (four if you have the season pass), and each offers a different experience than the other. IX takes place in an ancient Roman gladiator arena. Voyage of Despair places you and your team on the Titanic. Blood of the Dead is a reimagining of the classic Black Ops II map “Mob of the Dead”.

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There is a huge focus on customization this time around. You can choose Classic mode, which lets you play just like the good old days, Rush mode, a much faster paced alternative, or create your own entirely custom game mode. The amount of freedom given to you in creating custom games is immense. There are also four difficulty levels to choose from. No matter your skill level or what you want out of Zombies, Treyarch has made sure you’ll be happy.

Zombies also features a robust create-a-class system allowing for specialization and different playstyles. You can choose four of the game’s 30+ elixirs, which are temporary perks that function similarly to Black Ops III’s Gobblegum. You can also choose a special weapon similar to a Specialist’s ultimate ability (the sword was a favorite of my group). Another aspect the game lets you customize are the perks that appear on the map. Rather than having every perk on the map at a specific location, there are now four perk machines, but you can choose which perk to put in each. All of these systems can be a little overwhelming at first, but there is a tutorial to help ease new players into the Zombies experience.

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Black Ops 4 Zombies is a nice change of pace from its Multiplayer. It’s tense, it’s rewarding, and it’s just a good time overall. Naturally it’s better with friends, but there are always bots if you prefer the solo experience (the bots in this game are more skilled than some human players I know). Zombies is as good as it’s ever been here, and there’s a lot for players to uncover.

Blackout

This is definitely the most interesting part of Black Ops 4. The series got rid of a campaign, replacing it with battle royale as the game’s third pillar, and man was it worth it.

Blackout is phenomenal.

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You all know how it goes: 100 players drop onto the map and the last person or team standing is victorious. Blackout doesn’t exactly bend the rules of battle royale in any spectacular ways, but it’s incredibly well made. It runs well and looks good. The gunplay is tight and satisfying, as one would expect from a Call of Duty title. It just feels good to play.

The map is made up of classic Black Ops maps, but reworked to fit into a battle royale map. Nuketown is now its own island, aptly named “Nuketown Island”. Other fan favorites like Array and Firing Range make appearances as well. Zombies maps are included, too, but what good would Zombies maps be without, well, Zombies? Zombies are present in Blackout, and they are definitely a threat. They take more hits to go down than normal, and in a game like this where sound is key, engaging them can and will give away your position. If you do choose to brave the undead, you’ll be rewarded with the mystery box, which serves as a rare loot cache in Blackout.

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Everything about Blackout just feels right. The movement is extremely fluid. Sliding and vaulting feel natural and useful. Vehicles handle wonderfully. ATVs are quick and nimble, while trucks are heavier but offer more protection. Perks provide helpful gameplay benefits like quieter footsteps or faster movement. You have things to work toward because the game gives you objectives to unlock new characters. There’s even splitscreen! Overall, it’s like a more polished and refined version of PUBG.

That’s not to say it’s perfect, though. Looting is a hassle. The UI is clunky and unresponsive. Sometimes the game bugs out and you can’t even scroll through items. It’s tedious to strip a gun of all its attachments to replace it with a better one you found. Ammo isn’t automatically picked up. It’s not a deal breaker, but it has resulted in some moments of frustration. Audio is another problem. Sound is imperative to locating your enemies and planning your next move. Sound in Blackout is a mess. You may think someone is shooting right outside of the building you’re in, but in actuality they’re across a field fighting someone else. It’s very difficult to gauge where people are based on footsteps and gunshots, and that can be incredibly frustrating in the top ten, when everyone is hiding and you need to deduce their locations.

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Verdict

Despite its shortcomings, Black Ops 4 feels like a return to form for the franchise in a way. It’s not perfect, but it gets a lot of things right. The removal of a campaign was a risky move, but it definitely paid off. Black Ops 4 has my friends and I staying up until the wee hours of the night, saying “one more round” more times than we can count, whether it’s a game of TDM, Blackout, or Zombies. Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is the premier multiplayer suite on the market right now, and it is definitely worth your time.

Final Score: 9

 

You Can Finally Earn This Achievement After Five Years

2013’s indie smash hit The Stanley Parable has some awesome achievements.

One of which is called “Unachievable” is exactly what it sounds like. You can’t get it. There is no way to earn this achievement. Nothing in the game triggers it. Another, entitled “Commitment” requires you to play The Stanley Parable for an entire Tuesday. Yep, the whole 24 hours. “Go Outside” is the achievement everyone’s talking about today, because today is the first day you can legitimately earn it.

To get “Go Outside” you have to not play The Stanley Parable for 5 years. The Stanley Parable released on Steam on October 17, 2013, exactly 5 years ago today. So, if you played it on release day and haven’t touched it since, you can start it up and earn this incredibly rare achievement.

Of course, Steam achievements are incredibly easy to cheat, which explains why 7% of all Stanley Parable players already had “Go Outside”, even though the game just turned 5 today. It also explains why 4.4% of players had achieved “Unachievable”, the achievement that should be impossible to get. Ignoring cheating though, today marks the first day “Go Outside” is able to be obtained legitimately.

It truly is a momentous day in gaming history.

Fortnite Adds Tournaments and a New Vehicle

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s patch day. Fortnite version 6.10 is here, and it makes some considerable changes to the game.

The first of which is the Quadcrasher, an ATV that seats two people. Unlike the ATV and shopping carts, the Quadcrasher is fast and meant to get you and a friend across the map in a hurry. Tournaments are the other new addition in today’s update. Tournaments are open to everyone, regardless of stats and skill levels, and they allow players to compete with others with similar skill levels.

You can check out the full patch notes below.

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LIMITED TIME MODE: DISCO DOMINATION

Summary
It’s time for the ultimate dance-off. Dance Floors have spawned around the Battle Royale island. Take them over by clearing out any enemies and then dancing to raise a disco ball up from the floor. The team that fills their meter the fastest by capturing and defending the dance floors will win the match!

What’s New?

  • Reduced all bandage spawns by 50%.
  • Removed all Common weapons.
  • increased the variability of where you can spawn by 30% along your sides storm circle.
  • Brought in the side dance floors closer to the Storm edge.
  • Reduced max respawn distance by 20%.

WEAPONS + ITEMS

  • The Port-a-Fortress has been disabled as we work to resolve some issues related to this item.
    • Drop rate for Port-a-Fort increased from 3.05% to 4.89% while Port-a-Fortress is disabled.
      • The goal is to keep the drop rate of Port-a-Fort the same as if both items were enabled to help with the completion of Challenges.

Bug Fixes

  • Guided Missile no longer fires the wrong direction
  • Players will no longer permanently attach to a Supply Drop when grappling to it.
  • Attempting to fire while reloading the Double Barrel Shotgun will no longer interrupt the animation.
  • Weapon equip animations no longer skip when simultaneously attempting to sprint and target.

GAMEPLAY

  • Quadcrasher
    • Seats two players.
    • You build boost just by driving. Unleash that speed with the hotkey once you’ve filled your boost meter.
    • Smash through buildings while boosting.
    • Boost off ramps or cliffs to catch sick air.
    • Launch players into the air by smashing into them.
  • You can now view and change Edit Controls separately from Combat and Build Controls in the controller menu.
  • PS4 controller lighting will match player marker color.
  • You can now set building mode sensitivity for controllers in the options menu. It is a multiplier on the default controller sensitivity and allows up to a 2x increase.
  • Controller sensitivity slider in the options menu now allows for more than 10 values.
  • Added an option to Builder Pro that allows for building as soon as you switch to the piece, instead of selecting first and then placing. This allows for faster building without a preview.
  • Added an option that allows for edit hold timing to be adjusted.
  • Opening the Emote Picker with a controller will happen when the button is released, while holding the button will replay the emote that was last played.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed inconsistencies with the damage trap not triggering properly.
  • Allow slight movement when using a consumable with Sprint by Default enabled. This will help match how it works without Sprint by Default enabled
  • Fixed problem with character orientation getting stuck after falling off the island in a vehicle.
  • Glider Redeploy now functions properly in game modes that support this feature.
    • This will solve the issue that was causing the deploy prompt to not appear as well as preventing players from deploying their glider when jumping from a sufficient height.

EVENTS

  • Tournaments can be found inside of the new ‘Events’ tab available in game.  This tab will host a variety of online competitions which are open to everyone.  Jump in and explore!
    • Each tournament has a series of scheduled dates and times that the competition will be run. A carousel of all upcoming competitions and times will be available for browsing, so you can plan and practice.
    • Every scheduled session is a completely clean slate with all players starting on an equal footing at the beginning of play.
    • Compete over the course of several hours to earn points by eliminating multiple opponents or surviving against the competition.
    • Players are matched against opponents with similar scores during the session.
    • Score enough points during any scheduled event session and you’ll earn a golden pin for that tournament!

PERFORMANCE

  • Weapon replication optimization for dedicated server to reduce load during rapid weapon switching.
  • We’ve made CPU performance optimizations on Switch across all threads. This results in a smoother gameplay experience and fewer hitches.
  • Improve multi-threading during heavy physics simulation.

AUDIO

  • Celebrate with style. The music selected in your Locker will now play after getting a Victory Royale!
  • Remove the Doppler effect from the audio when players are gliding.
  • Added an in-air loop to Grenade Launcher projectiles so you can spatialize where they’re coming from.
  • Improved Grenade Launcher bouncing audio.
  • Reduced volume of medium-range Grenade explosion sound.

Bug Fixes

  • Cube ambient sounds no longer randomly play in the middle of matches.
  • Sequential explosion sounds no longer interrupt each other.
  • Added missing audio to the Compact SMG and SMG medium/distant fire sounds.
  • Audio ‘pops’ no longer occur when emote music loops.
  • Re-added the audio cue that plays before a new wave of Supply Drops start appearing.

UI

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed some touch issues for the controller mapping screen on Switch.
  • Fixed a bug where the player’s banner in the top bar would not update when changing the banner in the locker.
  • Made the reticle hidden when skydiving.
  • Fixed issues with the display of the on-screen map and inventory inputs.
  • Fixed issues with touch functionality on the map for the Nintendo Switch
  • Resource buttons no longer cancel auto-run.

ART + ANIMATION

Bug Fixes

  • Cosmetic items that change in some way over the course of a match are now marked as “Reactive” in-game (e.g., a harvesting tool that changes as you get eliminations).
  • Fixed visual display issues with cosmetic music items..
  • Animation pops no longer occur while in the air after using the Chiller trap.

REPLAY SYSTEM

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue causing the first replay not be selected in the replay browser.
  • Fixed the nameplate distance slider not working.
  • Fixed an issue where firing guided missiles would start with the camera facing the wrong way in replays.

MOBILE

  • Major performance improvement for devices running Android 7 or earlier.
  • Memory improvements on iOS devices.
  • The first weapon you pick up will now auto-equip itself on mobile.
  • Touch control input now has smoothing enabled.
  • Tapping selected buttons on the build quickbar will once again build the selected build piece.
  • All elements in the Mobile HUD should now be placeable/movable in the HUD Layout Tool.
  • Updated visuals for independent Quickbar slots in the HUD Layout Tool.

Bug Fixes

  • Drag and dropping on the Quickbar will no longer select the thing you drag. Players can now adjust their inventory without interrupting other actions.
  • Fixing a bug causing some touch input to fall through the settings screen to gameplay.
  • Fixing edit button visibility issues when crouching on Mobile.

PSN Name Changes Officially Happening

PlayStation Network users will soon be able to change their usernames after years of waiting.

A post on the PlayStation Blog details the highly requested feature, which will be rolling out very soon as a part of the PlayStation Preview Program. Users that have registered for previous system software betas will be the first to gain the ability to change their names, with a full rollout scheduled for early 2019.

Similar to how name changes are implemented on Xbox Live, your first PSN name change will be free, and then it’ll cost you $9.99 every time after that. PlayStation Plus members will get a sizable discount, only being charged $4.99 per change.

When you change your online ID, you’ll be able to display your old name alongside your new one, that way your friends can recognize you. This choice is permanent, however. Whether you choose to display your old alias beneath your new identity, you won’t be able to adjust that setting after the name change process is complete.

Interestingly, it seems not all games will support name changes. The blog post states “this feature is compatible with PS4 games originally published after April 1, 2018, and a large majority of the most-played PS4 games that were released before this date.” This makes it sound like the username changing functionality is much more complicated under the hood than it may seem, which would explain why it took such a highly requested feature so long to be implemented. If you run into any issues, you’ll be able to revert back to your old ID at any time, and a list of compatible games will be provided on the official PlayStation website once the feature fully launches.

Here’s looking at you, xX_GokuKid420_Xx.

Will you be changing your PSN name? Be sure to let us know down below, and stay tuned to Circle Square Games for everything PlayStation.